Updates from the Homestead


My son, Richard, left last Thursday for Manila.  He arrived safe and sound after 20+ hours of flight time.  He met up with his sweetie and they are having a great time.  She has her interview later this week so we are all praying it goes smoothly.  Then they fly to her home town and he will spend the month of November with her family before they both head back here.   

I have been doing a little pre baking and cooking for this upcoming weekend.  My daughter Emily is having a College Plus get-together for those that live in the Northwest area.  They will be doing a service project for most of the day on Saturday.  They will be volunteering their time at the Portland Rescue Mission and then heading back here to our home.  I will be serving them lunch.  Right now it looks like about 14 people plus my family.  I think it will be a lot of fun.  So far my menu plan to feed this crew is a big pot of chicken noodle soup (I have the chicken stock already done and in the freezer), sandwiches (a tray with the bread, meat and veggies laid out), 7 layer dip with tortilla chips, a veggie platter, apples and dip, and homemade cookies for dessert.  I made chocolate chip cookies the other day and put half of them in the freezer.  Last night Leanne made oatmeal raisin and those are in the freezer and today I would like to get peanut butter cookies made and in the freezer.  Some who have a long drive home will spend the night so I want to get some breakfast preps in the freezer this week too.. I am thinking bagels would be good along with fruit and maybe some cinnamon rolls 

This last week I have also continued my campaign to go through my whole house cleaning and organizing.  I did my dining room/sunroom, my living room, organized all my packing supplies, then over the weekend I tackled my basement storage area.  I went through all my Rubbermaid totes and got rid of a ton of stuff.. out grown clothes, games with missing pieces, items I did not remember I owned and therefore knew I would not use (if I have not used them up to this point then I doubt I will in the future)   If felt so good to lighten up and be organized.  One thing I admire about the Philippine people is their simplicity. The Philippines is a poor country and people don’t have a lot and many do fine with this.  My son made a comment to me while he was here.  He said what he really loved was that these people were into people and family more than stuff.  That warmed my heart because that is how I desire to be..  but in this country we seem to have such excesses that ends up often times being a burden to carry…I think of the hours of time spent storing and organizing “stuff”, throwing away “stuff”, and a couple weeks ago my hubby and I took a load of garbage to the dump and I looked around at the piles and piles of broken and unwanted “stuff”.. I don’t know.. but something just seemed wrong with the picture...  Anywho.. all that to say that as I toss and free up my house I am recommitted to a life of simplicity and determining how much is enough anyway?.  My pastor once gave a sermon on this…  he said “How much is enough?” and the answer… “Just a little more than I have”..  so the goal would be learning to be content with what I have..  and focus my time and attention on the things that matter.. my family and those around me whose lives I come in contact with..  ok enough of my little soap box this morning!  

This week has a lot lined up..  my hubby has to get some surgery done in his mouth.. yuck.. he is not looking forward to this at all.. and he has to have a soft food diet for a week afterwards while things heal..  I have to ask the dr once again what actually is “soft food” for his situation.  So coming up with a weeks worth of food he can eat is also squeezed in with all the other activity going on.   

For my daughter Emily this is finals week on her current accounting classes.. her goal is to get her finals taken today and Wednesday or Thursday so she can help me out with preparations for this  Saturday’s event.  She is taking a college class break and will be focusing on taking a few remaining CLEP and Dante tests that she has and begin working on TCEP tests.. then hopefully by the beginning of the year she will have those done and will dive back into the last of her accounting courses.  If she stays on schedule she should have her degree by spring (that would be 2 years since she started! )..  gotta love College Plus!!  I am a huge fan of them!  Finals week also means..  “stress week” LOL.. actually it is not as bad as mid terms.. so I am saying lots of prayers for Emily and for our household too!  

Well that is all the updates from my homestead..  Time to get my day rolling..  Hope you all have a great week! 


  1. "My pastor once gave a sermon on this… he said “How much is enough?” and the answer… “Just a little more than I have”.. so the goal would be learning to be content with what I have.. and focus my time and attention on the things that matter.."


    This is a great reminder to me especially with what I've been dealing with the last week or so.

    Over this past year I've been doing so well living frugally, getting debt paid off, and scaling back on my posessions. Well, I recently got a bump in salary at work and now all of a sudden I feel a "need" to buy myself more things!

    What the heck is wrong with me?!..LOL Suddenly I feel like I need new furniture, a new stereo system, new clothes etc., just because I can afford it? I have to keep catching myself whenever I go to buy something and not live beyond my means.

    But you are absolutely right - be content with what I have and focus on what matters!

  2. I can relate. Too often we get bogged down with stuff and it just burdens us. It feels so much better to give and we can give more freely when we have less stuff gnawing at us! It's a good reminder for me too. Lately I have been distracted with the desire for more rather than contentment. Crystal, tell us your favorite novel authors. I need a little distraction!

  3. I really enjoy reading your blog! I too find myself with "stuff" all over and I have a hard time sometimes getting rid of the "stuff". You have definitely inspired me to have a different look at things. I usually get that inspiration when we PCS to another duty station and we cannot take everything we have. Moving here to Italy we had to purge a lot of our big items simply because the houses here are smaller. Living a simple life is something I strive towards daily! Glad to hear all is well with your family.



  4. Hi Crystal

    I just wanted to thank you so much for your blog. I come here to read often, and something in every single one of your entries always manages to encourage or uplift me...

    I hope you are having a great day! :-)


  5. Hi Crystal, I have been praying for Richard and his fiance. Praying all goes well at the meeting they have.

    I find that I struggle with that: Wanting to live a more simplified life and the struggle of living here. Right now we have cut out everything extra and it feels good. It is a battle to live contentedly and with a focus of people always in a society so focused on stuff. Yet, I know that God can help us with that. Great post!

  6. Hi Crystal, thank you for posting the information about the College. That looks like a fabulous alternative.

    I was just posting on my blog yesterday about ways to live a simpler life. We can always use more encouragement and ideas from others! Thanks so much for posting on this topic.


    Melissa D. SC



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