Changes…

Relax KOMH

I had been extra busy lately preparing for a craft show. My apologies for no “Frugal Friday” post last week. That has left me thinking though. What do I want to do with this blog?

While I enjoy the writing and the sharing, it has added extra stress to prepare posts for certain days. I for one do not deal well with stress and try to avoid it like the plague! Not only that, I’m probably not very pleasant to be around when I’m that stressed!

Peace KOMH

So, to remedy this situation I will no longer set certain days for posts (such as hymns on Wednesday and frugal things on Friday). Instead, I will write as time allows and post accordingly. That will relieve the pressure yet still allow me to blog 🙂

Rocking Chair indoors with pillow

I feel that my family and home life comes first and foremost. I do not want that to suffer because I HAVE to put out a blog post. I hope you kind folks will understand.

I also want to be open to the Holy Spirit’s leading in the direction I should go and sharing what’s on my heart. It is still my desire to share hymns and frugal tips with you, but it will no longer be on a rigid schedule!

I am wanting to make my home as calm and stress free as possible. A refuge from this crazy, busy world.

old front porch rocker

I hope you’ll stick around as I hash things out and find what works for me.

Blessings,

Mrs. G

If you’d like to check out my crafting page I’d be much obliged!!

http://www.facebook.com/craftinhousewife

Wednesday Hymns-Day: Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace SignTo kick things off I figured I might as well start off with one of the most well-known and beloved hymns of all time: Amazing Grace.

I’d venture to say there’s nary a soul who hasn’t heard this precious hymn at least once in their life. It was penned by John Newton and published in 1779. He was a slave trader who was later saved by God’s amazing grace!

This song provokes different emotions for different people. It also may arouse many different memories; some sweet, some sad. I recall sweet memories of my grandmother beautifully singing this tune as well as it being played at my great grandmothAmazing Grace Sheet Music 2er’s funeral amidst many tears.

“Amazing grace!

How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost but, now am found;

Was blind, but now I see.”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been quite a wretched mess. Thankfully, I’ve been saved by God’s grace. His beautiful, amazing grace and perfect timing have saved my soul from an eternal hell.

Amazing Grace Sheet Music

Do you like this hymn?

Have you experienced God’s amazing grace?

If not, would you like to?

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not or yourselves: it is a gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” ~ Ephesians 2:8-9

Please watch this moving video! Tells of the origins of this song and how it was written! Watch all the way through. Really listen. It gives me goosebumps!!

Pizza Sandwiches

Yummy!

I thought I’d share a recipe with you from time to time. Will start with these “Pizza Sandwiches”. They may have a fancier name but that’s what we call ‘em around here! My Mama used to make these yummy little sandwiches for me and my brothers when we were kids. I specifically recall eating these in the summer time for lunch but these hot little sandwiches would be lovely on a cold winter day as well.

You will need:

Bread (Of your choosing. As you can see, we are a house divided when it comes to bread!)

Items Needed for Pizza Sandwiches
Items Needed for Pizza Sandwiches

Butter (I use real butter)

Pizza Sauce

Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

Pepperoni Slices

Sandwich Maker

For starters, shred your cheese (unless you buy it already shredded)

Sandwich Maker
Sandwich Maker

and have it ready to go. Turn on your Sandwich Maker and let it heat up. Meanwhile, butter your bread. My bread looks a little pitiful after I’ve buttered it…it’s no easy feat to slather REAL, cold butter onto bread!! I have a big sandwich maker that makes 4 sandwiches at once. So I butter 8 slices of bread for the first batch.

Next, lay 4 of the  slices of buttered bread into each section, buttered side down. YouPizza Sandwiches 4 will hear it sizzle! Spread some pizza sauce on top of your bread. Then top that with
shredded mozzarella cheese followed by pepperoni. Lastly, lay the other 4 slices of bread on top of Pizza Sandwiches 3each sandwich. Close the Sandwich Maker and allow the bread to brown/toast and the cheese to melt!

Once done, lift each sandwich out of the machine (be careful, they’ll be hot!) and lay them on a plate. I like to cut each sandwich in half before serving. Makes for easier eatin’! I hope you enjoy! They sure are scrumptious!!

Pizza Sandwiches 6

Frugal Friday #1

Frugal Friday KOMH

It’s Frugal Friday! Here are just a few of my frugal accomplishments this past week:

  • Saved bread sacks – I made extra ice, filled a bread sack with
    My bacon grease in a Mason Jar!
    My bacon grease in a Mason Jar!

    the cubes and set it in the freezer so I have a reserve of ice.

  • Saved the lint from my dryer & empty toilet paper rollers – to make simple fire starters.
  • Saved used dryer sheets – great for scrubbing off soap scum!
  • Saved my bacon grease – delicious to scramble your eggs in!
  • Wore an apron – to further protect the rags I wear! (helps makes your clothes last longer that way)

    Vintage Apron KOMH
    Protect your clothes gals! Put your apron on!

Frugal goals for next week:

  • Save used chicken bones for stock
  • Mend my son’s shirt and britches

What frugal/thrifty things did you find to do or accomplish this week? What are your goals for the coming week?

Use it up Wear it out

Please share! And until next time…stay frugal!!!

Mrs. G

Wednesday Hymns-Day

hymns of the faith

As I informed you in my “About Me” page, I’m a lover of the old hymns. Something about them lifts my spirits like no other music. Now, before I go any further let me just say that Contemporary Christian Music is fine and dandy. I like it too. But my personal preference is the old traditional hymns. Just another reason I’m probably dubbed old fashioned!

HPIM1336.JPG

The thought that many generations of kin before me have sung these songs really moves me. Standing in the pews, gripping their hymnals, lifting their voices in praise to Almighty God. Many of these beloved hymns were committed to memory. They lived deep within and surfaced when needed to carry them through. I’ll never forget my Papa (grandfather) telling me his Mama (Granny) made him stand up every time they sang “Standing on the Promises of God”.

church - family singing hymns

Another reason I may be so fond of them is because I grew up listening to a gathering of family singing them. There is nothing sweeter and more comforting as a child than to lye your head on your Mama’s lap amongst a crowd of family and listen to them belt out one hymn after another. Such precious memories.

These days you’ll be hard-pressed to find a place that regularly sings these faithful songs of old. I don’t want our traditional songs of the faith to be lost in this fast paced world, a world that is quickly tossing the old ways out. I will cling to them, as they bring me comfort. I play them around my children in hopes that they too will grow fond of them. I like to play my collection of hymns while I’m going about my day and tending to the housework.  It truly lifts my spirits and shifts my focus off the things of this world and onto the things of God.

pretty church

I would love to share some of my favorite hymns with you. I shall make Wednesday’s Hymn Day here at Keeper of My Home. I hope you will follow along and share your favorites too. Let’s preserve our Christian heritage! How ’bout that old time religion?! It’s good enough for me!

Old Time Religion

Stay tuned….

Mrs. G

Introducing: Frugal Fridays

Use it up Wear it out

We live in a disposable world. Everything is made to be tossed out or to break so we can buy new again. It’s a never ending cycle. No more are the days when things were made to last (but I’ll leave that for another post!) I’m sure this country has never in all its days been as wasteful as it is today.

waste not want not

I personally believe much of the problem with this generation is that we really don’t know what it’s like to do without. Sure, we’ve seen some struggles here and there but for the most part our basic needs have always been met. A few generations ago, that was not the case.  This country suffered through the Great Depression and it would seem that’s where true thrift and frugality were born. Not the trendy, look at me I’m cute and frugal kind of frugality, but the desperate, core-rattling reality that there was no money and no work and yet somehow you had to feed and clothe a family kind of frugality. The struggle for them was very real. They lived the “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” life and I think a lot can be learned from them.

worn out work boots

So without further ado, I introduce to you: Frugal Fridays! I would like to take some time on Fridays to share some things I’ve learned from this frugal generation. Many things I’ve watched my grandparents do and even my parents. Some things I do and others I should work at doing more often.

A lot of these things have been lost over the years. Too often, we take things for granted. We have our needs and wants in utter disorder. I want need to be a better steward with what God has so graciously given me.

Savings coin jars

Will you join me on Fridays (or every other Friday depending on my week!) for some frugal tips, inspiration and encouragement? I will report to you about any of the frugal or thrifty things I managed to do during the week. I encourage you to work at it too and come back and share with me! I don’t know a soul who couldn’t benefit from stretching those hard earned pennies to the max!!

Be on the lookout for more to come!…..

Mrs. G

Back to Basics: When You Haven’t Got Two Pennies to Rub Together – Eating From the Pantry & Freezer

coins_spilling_jar-300x168

Most times I grocery shop I like to pick up a few extras here and there – things that really don’t make or break your grocery budget. I’m a stickler for menu planning. I make my bi-weekly menu plan and then write out all the items needed for each meal before heading off to the store. This helps me stay within my grocery budget. For each item on my list I typically add in an extra for things that are low cost cheap and shelf stable such as rice, beans, canned veggies (gasp! yes, I buy canned vegetables but I opt for fresh as much as possible.). These extra items ALWAYS come in handy during lean times. We’ve had plenty of weeks where we didn’t have two pennies to rub together after all our bills were paid! That sure makes for slim pickin’s in the kitchen come meal time.

When the budget isn’t stretched to the limit and I find myself with a little wiggle room I like to stock up on other things like peanut butter (which my kiddos tend to eat by the heaping spoonfuls!), raw honey (expensive!), and meats like chicken, beef and bacon to toss in the freezer.

What a well prepared pantry!
What a well prepared pantry/food storage!

My regular staples include sugar and flour ’cause you just never know when this Southern Mama will get a hankerin’ (*desire* for you non-southerners!) for something sweet!

Another tip I learned from my precious, frugal Grandma is to use hot dog/hamburger buns instead of sliced sandwich bread for toast. This is a huge money saver for breakfast. Buy a couple of packs, toss ’em in the freezer and you’ll always have ’em on hand. I can buy an 8

Me & Grandma (making Chicken & Dumplin's!)
Me & Grandma (making Chicken & Dumplin’s!)

count (which is actually 16 slices!) of buns for $1 or less at most stores. And if you make it like my Grandma does there ain’t nothin’ better! May sound weird at first, but trust me it’s scrumptious, especially if it’s slathered with home-canned apple butter or fruit preserves! To make it like Grandma, butter your buns before you toast ’em and they’ll end up heavenly! *You can only do this in a toaster oven and not a regular toaster. Or you can do like me and toast ’em in the oven with the broiler on but keep an eye on ’em cause it don’t take long!*

Crate of Corn 2
Crate full of Corn

When you find produce on sale grab it while you can. Freeze it, can it or what have you but these opportunities are a must! A few weeks back I bought a whole crate full of corn for just

Ready for the Freezer!
Ready for the Freezer!

$6! May be a lot of work to put it up but it saves you money in the long run. You’ll be glad you did it once it’s done, I promise!

Fresh picked!
Fresh picked!

One last thing for now: Garden! My garden is small, I mean very small! But anything it provides you with is a blessing! Nothing beats fresh picked herbs or home-grown tomatoes in the summertime and fresh collards in the winter! Don’t be intimidated to get out there and learn if you think you don’t know how. I jumped right in head first (haha!) and am learning as I go! You will make mistakes, but you learn what to do and what not to do and what plant likes the sun and which ones like the shade etc. It’s hard work but oh so rewarding. You will reap what you sow, literally!!

I guess all these habits of mine have become a safety net of sorts.

But above all these things, PRAY. Worry NOT. God always provides and He is always on time.

“Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?” – Luke 12:24 NKJV

What are some things you do to help make it through lean times? Please share!

Mrs. G