January 2, 2015

Tracy / January 2, 2015

This week in our home, our focus has been “use what you have”.

Seems appropriate for my 2015 goals which I will share in a post a little later.

We have had several projects going on at the same time, but a few of my favorites
are these:

We are a stock making factory!

I’ve switched our family over to more poultry (less red meat).

Aside from being less expensive, we can use it to start stock almost daily from the chicken (or turkey) bones. It simmers on the stove for hours. When it is done, we strain it off and send the bones back to the fridge to be used again the next day.

It’s amazing how many times you can boil those same bones to make broth. Usually by the time we’ve gotten all the broth we can from them, it’s time to go to the grocery store again… new bones means new broth.

Our freezer stays pretty full with this yummy goodness right now, and I do try to menu plan around our broth. If I have broth ready, we may have chicken and dumplings or some type of soup.

This week, I’ve made sure I have beans ready to be sealed in jars and have been canning
with my broth. What a great shelf item it’s been for our pantry to have dried beans to pull out and warm for dinner! It’s convenience food without all of the nasty ingredients and cost. I think these jars came out to under 20 cents a quart jar! That’s a great price!

Along the lines of stocking our pantry, we’ve re-stocked our hot cocoa mix and Courtney
helped me with some really cute labels for our dry goods.

The other thing we seem to have an abundance of recently is coffee grounds. I normally add them to our garden compost (they are GREAT for compost), but I was hoping to do a little more with them. This week, we made coffee soap for the kitchen (it smells SO good and helps remove food odors from your hands when you’ve been cooking), and a coffee-based exfoliating scrub for the girls and I. I’m calling it “Bailey scrub” since the recipe for this came from Jessica’s friend, Bailey (I’ll share her recipe tomorrow)!

I’m thankful for the ways the Lord is showing me to further stretch our dollars and the little touches (like labels!), that make things beautiful, too!

Our other home chores have centered mostly around packing up our Christmas boxes. I’m amused each year how we can pack it all up and then continue to find little forgotten things here and there. We may still be packing for years!

I took extra care to pack everything this year. We have all the boxes numbered and there is a list for each one in my Christmas binder. My hope is that it will make the un-packing and preparations for the holiday next year much easier. We’ll see!!

Today’s Tasks

  • Pick up bread
  • Drop off older bread
  • Straighten home
  • Begin working on school plans for next week

Today I’m Thankful For

  • Unexpected time to visit with two friends
  • Healthy children
  • Pantry being stocked
  • Holiday decorations being organized an re-packed
  • The laundry almost done
  • *Most grateful for the Lord having whispered my name to few folks the week. I have been overwhelmed by a few things this past week and encouragement has just show up from the most unexpected ladies.

Prayer Requests

  • Please always remember my grandmother when you pray
  • The last 15 minutes of 2014 came with a note from someone regarding my mom and some family issues I’ve had the last few years- not a fun way to end the year and frankly, I’m just tired.
  • At the same time (and I mean LITERALLY, at the same time), I learned that a sweet friend, whom I had met when both of our mothers were in chemo treatments, had just lost her mom. Please pray for Annette. I know she is hurting as she starts this new year without her mama.
  • Our family goals for 2015

My Scripture Meditation

Matthew 11:28-30
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

2 thoughts on “January 2, 2015

  1. Love these kinds of posts! I’m very into using what I have right now too.

    Made yogurt from some milk we brought back from a short vacation with family. Have been eating bits and bobs of leftovers. Cooked 2 big pots of dried beans yesterday to freeze; very much looking forward to being able to can them when I get the pressure canner I’ve saving to buy. 🙂 Also want to be able to can chicken broth!

    I do love your labels!

    1. Mary Ann, I’m so glad you dropped in on me today. 🙂
      I haven’t figured out canning broth just yet. I did make and can some last year but just couldn’t cool it fast enough to preserve the quality (even in an ice bath). It would be really nice to be able to store it in the pantry rather than in the freezer.
      A pressure canner has been one of the best investments in my home. I’m hoping to have a pantry full of dried beans by summer when the garden starts coming in for canning.
      Thank you for your encouragement, Mary Ann! I think you and I are cut from the same cloth!! <3

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