Thursday, April 30, 2015

Thrifty Thursday: More Selling Going On!!

I posted previously about all of the selling that I was doing on facebook and I am super excited to say that I jumped back in and put a bunch more things up to sell.  I haven't been super successful because it takes a little bit of work to get these things done.

I sold the tricycle that my son used to use that we bought used.  I wish that I could remember how much we bought it for but I think that I sold it for the same price which is always super great!!

We bought this bedroom set used at the same sale and used for a little bit but my son really only uses the bottom sheet and didn't ever use the top sheet, comforter, and the Clifford so I figured that it was time to sell and move on to the others that we already had.  I am super excited to say that I think that I sold it for the same price that I bought it for so it was just a short rental!!

We got a travel highchair that we used from friends and I sold it for $4.  Although not a huge profit, it is great to use something and sell it for more then you paid.

We took three vanities out of the new house to replace and we sold them for $90!!  We also sold one of the old light fixtures and a toilet for $15.  Not really a profit but it was something that we weren't planning on selling and I made over $100 so I am super excited to get a little profit on the construction stuff since we are spending a fortune on the new things to go into the house.

 I picked out a few things that I couponed for out of a box that I was moving upstairs in the new house which I had all intentions of putting up on eBay and decided to sell those too!  I got lots of interest in them so obviously I could have sold them for a lot more but I got $15 for them.  Super excited to get more out the door and more money in my pocket.

I am up to $947!!  I still have a bunch more things to sell but I need to get to work and try to break $1000!!  I think that I am doing better than if I had a garage sale but I think that I might still have to get together with the neighbor and have a garage sale to sell some of the smaller stuff.  I know that I am going to work to post a few more things each day to see how much more I can get rid of so that we don't have to move it!!

My husband also took another load to the scrap yard and made another $31.  We are now up to $79 in our scrapping experiment.  I can tell you that most of the money comes from the copper that we pulled out of the house to replace with new copper.  We also have a bunch more wires so my husband and I stripped some to see if we could get more money for it but it wasn't worth the extra work.  We have one more load to take including a cast iron tub so we are aiming to try to break $100.  I am not sure that we are going to do this long term but it is a great way to get rid of "trash" from the construction and move and put a little money in our pockets (and not have to pay for disposal).

We are working to cut down on the things around our new house and make a little money at our house.  How do you cut down on the extra stuff around your house from piling up?? Do you do garage sales?  I would love any tips on how you keep organized and declutter!!!

Small Town Brides Book Review

I was looking for more books by Janet Tronstad and found this book in the library which turned out to be two books in one by different authors.  Small-Town Brides: A Dry Creek Wedding\A Mule Hollow Match
by Debra Clopton, Janet Tronstad was an interesting mix of two authors and their two towns and characters.  The one starts off where the other left off which was lead to a little more interest in the new author for me!

A Dry Creek Wedding by Janet TronstadWhen her boyfriend proposes a "practical" marriage, romantic Rene Mitchell leaves town until her car breaks down on the side of the road. Fleeing Texas for Montana, Rene rides with tow truck driver Clay Preston. Clay lived in the same small town of Mule Hollow but never had a chance to talk to Rene and now they have nothing but time while Clay is driving her to her Aunt's house to start her new life.

A Mule Hollow Match by Debra Clopton 

Trace Crawford broke Paisley Norton's cousin, Rene's, heart--so Paisley thinks he deserves whatever trouble he gets! Trace begs Paisley to help him because no one else in town is willing to help him.  The best suggestion that he has gotten is the school teacher who is on break for the summer even though he is the one that ran Rene out of town.  He is really lost when it comes to caring for his new niece because he didn't grow up with his parents and doesn't know where to start. The hatred that starts the book is quickly replaced with kindness towards the new little girl in both their lives.

I enjoyed both short stories a lot although it was a little bit of a stretch that a tow truck driver would drive someone from Texas to Montana in the one story and that the person who was most hurt by the actions of Trace would be the person who helped him out.  If you get over the unrealistic nature of the stories, they are both entertaining and kept me reading to find out what happens next.  Just like in my movies, I like books to be entertaining and don't really put a lot of stock in having the most realistic plot so if that bothers you, you might want to skip this book.  If you are a looking for a fun summer beach book, this might be up your alley.  I hope that you enjoy it and try other books in both series.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Peace Book Review

I was excited to get the extra book in the series at the library on my reserve shelf.  Peace: A Crittenden County Christmas Novel (Secrets of Crittenden County) by Shelley Shepard Gray was a stand alone book that was meant to follow the rest of the Crittenden County mystery series.  It was a great extra ending to the already ended series and I was glad that she added the extra little bump to the series and closure for the characters!!

Beth Byler has a secret. Ever since she met Englischer Chris Ellis while helping out at the Yellow Bird Inn, she can't stop thinking about him. She knows a relationship could never go anywhere—Chris was working undercover in Crittenden County as a DEA agent. That meant he faced danger daily and carried a gun, making him completely unsuitable for an Amish woman like herself. But she knew he felt the attraction, too. It was the reason he left so suddenly, promising never to see her again.  Then, three days before Christmas, while Beth is taking care of the inn, Chris returns. This time, he is bleeding and in need of a place to hide. Against her better judgment, Beth takes him in and tends to his wounds. She also promises to keep his presence a secret. Before long, it becomes clear that nothing between them has changed but you need to pick up this book and find out for yourself what happens!!
Quite possibly my favorite book in the series because it was mainly just two characters through the whole book so you got to know lots about both of them.  Of course, it wouldn't have been nearly as good if we didn't get a chance to know all the other characters through the other books in the series.  The rest of the whole series was in the mystery section and this was in the fiction section because the mystery was solved in the last book.  I don't think that I liked the Amish mystery as much as the regular fiction so this brought the characters and the author back to what I like best about the Amish fiction books.  I hope that you check this one out if you haven't read it, even if you haven't read other books in this series because it is a great book all on it's own.  Check it out at your local library or bookstore soon!!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Found Book Review

I got the third book in the series of the Secrets of Crittenden County from my reserve shelf which was again switching back and forth between series but I was super excited to find out what happened next.  Found: The Secrets of Crittenden County, Book Three by Shelley Shepard Gray was the next in my pile to start reading.  It was great to finally get some resolution in the first Amish mystery book series that I have read!!

As the search for Perry Borntrager's killer continues, Jacob Schrock feels like his world is about to crumble. Right before Perry went missing, he and Jacob got into a fistfight. Jacob never told anyone what happened that terrible night. He's good at keeping secrets—including his love for Deborah, Perry's sister. But when Deborah takes a job at his family's store and their friendship blossoms, Jacob senses everything is about to be revealed.  Deborah has been searching for a slice of happiness ever since her brother's body was discovered. When the police start questioning Jacob, Deborah can't believe that the one person she's finally allowed in could be the one responsible for her brother's death. Will she believe what everyone seems to think is the truth . . . or listen to her heart, and hope there is still one more person who is keeping secrets in Crittenden County.

In Found, Gray’s unforgettable trilogy of what happens when a terrible crime that strikes a close knit Amish community comes full-circle, “Englisher” Detective Luke Reynolds discovers the identity of Perry Borntrager’s killer and the community must come to terms with the surprising revelation. A murder is solved and a quiet Amish community must deal with the repercussions. Amid the surprising revelations, can a new found love survive?

As with all mysteries, the best stuff happens at the end.  There is a lot of confusion and cover-up in the murder of Perry but the truth is finally revealed and you aren't going to believe the final verdict.  I hope that this was a surprise to most of the people reading because it was to me.  I don't usually try to solve mysteries which is why I think that I was never a mystery reader before.  I like to read and follow along with what the characters know and learn as they do.  I find that it is much better for me then playing detective.  I enjoyed the final book the most and I think that the other two books were necessary to lead up to the final book resolution but I know that the first two books were a lot slower moving then some of her other book series.  I hope that you check them out at your local library or bookstore and see for yourselves.  I know that you will enjoy this Amish mystery and be as surprised as I was with the ending!!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Menu Plan Monday 4/27

We are really aiming to move out before the end of May but I still don't have a handle on this meal planning while moving thing but picking out about 5 things from us to choose from for the week seems to be working.  We have been eating leftovers on the night that is way too busy too cook and eating out on the night that we aren't at the house with a kitchen.  Here is what I have on the list for this week:

Spaghetti or Pasta with garlic bread
Chicken Fried Rice and Chicken Egg Rolls (got a deal on the frozen ones at super doubles at HT)
Chicken Nugget Wraps with homemade fries
Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken with chicken rice (or something else with 2 chicken breasts)
Pancakes (cause I packed the waffle maker) and hash browns

We are totally out of ground beef, blue cheese, lunch meat and lots of other important things in our house.  I know that I am going to have to get some more food since we are looking like the end of May and not the end of April like we were thinking but I am still putting it off.  I really need to take a few days and cook up some things but I know that we have rolls and pancakes in the freezer and I need to add a few more meals.  I am currently only making bread today and hoping to go buy some lunch meat but the rest of the food shopping is going to have to wait until a little later in the week.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Bridge of Peace Book Review

I was at the library on the search for a few books to read without any notes of books that I was looking for because I packed my list in a box already and moved it.  The Bridge of Peace (Ada's House, Book 2)
by Cindy Woodsmall was on the shelf and I was excited to see that it was the second in the series of a book that I just read last month.  WOO HOO!!  It went home with me and I was glad to read another Cindy Woodsmall book. 

Lena Kauffman is a young Old Order Amish schoolteacher who has dealt all her life with attention raised by a noticeable birthmark on her cheek. Having learned to move past the stares and whispers, Lena channels her zest for living into her love of teaching. But tensions mount as she is challenged to work with a rebellious young man and deal with several crises at the schoolhouse that threaten her other students. Her lack of submission and use of ideas that don’t line up with the Old Ways strengthen the school board’s case as they begin to believe that Lena is behind all the trouble.

One member of the school board, Grey Graber, feels trapped by his own stifling circumstances. His wife, Elsie, has shut him out of her life, and he doesn’t know how long he can continue to live as if nothing is wrong. As the two finally come to a place of working toward a better marriage, tragedy befalls their family.  Lena and Grey have been life-long friends, but their relationship begins to crumble amidst unsettling deceptions, propelling each of them to finally face their own secrets. Can they both find a way past their losses and discover the strength to build a new bridge?

I enjoyed reading this book but I was trying to figure out from the beginning what happened in the first book.  You know you are reading too many difference Amish fiction series when you can't keep them straight!!  It was a great love story while still giving the trials and tribulations of being Amish and trying to live within the rules.  There are many lessons in the book but it really points out some differences between the Amish and English lifestyle which make you grateful to have all the great things that we have in our everyday life.

Anyway, I was sad to come to the end and find out that I didn't have the next book in the series.  I thought that I did but then I picked up the book that I got off the reserve at the library and realized that it was the next book in the other Amish fiction series that I am reading.  Boy did I set myself up for confusion.  I put the last book in this series on reserve at the library so I guess I will get it in next week so I have a little time to finish the other series and get all confused all over again.  I hope that you pick up this book and the rest of the series at your local library or bookstore.  I believe that you will greatly enjoy it!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Search Book Review

I went to the library to return the last book that I read out of the series and pick up my next book on reserve.  Luckily, I got to pick up the next book in this series too. The Search: The Secrets of Crittenden County, Book Two by Shelley Shepard Gray which I was super eager to read.  I even opened it and started reading it while I was still at the library!!

Small devout community of Crittenden County, Kentucky is rocked by the  murder of a young, black sheep neighbor when the body of Perry Borntrager is discovered in an abandoned well. In the midst of a murder investigation in the heart of Amish country, one young policeman finds his heart led astray by a young woman who’s guarding shocking secrets about the victim, and the dedicated “Englisher” homicide detective who has arrived from the outside world to investigate.  Now the small town faces the first death by mysterious circumstances in more than twenty years, and Detective Luke Reynolds is brought in to help investigate. But before he can solve the crime, he faces unexpected feelings for Frannie, the Amish owner of the local bed-and-breakfast. Though they butt heads at first, Luke finds himself drawn to Frannie's bedside when she's injured in a kitchen accident.  Soon it becomes clear that Frannie knew Perry better than she let on . . . they'd been courting when he disappeared.  Has Luke fallen for the very woman responsible for the crime? You are going to have to pick up the book and find out for yourself!

I was glad to follow up on the series since the first book left me feeling unfinished.  I was excited to find it on the shelf at the library when I went there because with so many branches of the library, it is always hard to know where the books are going to be if you don't check before you go.  I also took the time to reserve the third book in the series while I was there so that I could read it next.  I like to have resolution on a series and see it through to the end to see if it is something of interest to me.  I hope that you enjoy this series if you read it.  Give the series a chance past the first book because I don't think that you will be disappointed.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Shepherds Abiding in Dry Creek Book Review

I found one more book by Janet Tronstad at the library when I was there visiting trying to use the computer before my son got out of school to do a little blogging with my "free" time after I finished painting at the new house.  Shepherds Abiding in Dry Creek (Dry Creek Series #11) (Love Inspired #421) by Janet Tronstad was the lucky winner of the extra book that I got a chance to bring home from the library.  I was excited because I don't have a lot of time to look for books or do anything super relaxing and this would help me later when I got a chance to read it!!!

Marla Gossett moved to Dry Creek, Montana from Los Angles after her husband died and she didn't have money left to support her family. She wanted a safe haven to raise her kids, far from the troubles of the past. Then an unusual theft cast suspicion on her family...and brought Deputy Sheriff Les Wilkerson into the struggling widow's life.  In Marla's young son, Les saw a lonely child in need of a guiding hand. In the plucky single mother, he saw a woman he could love. But a crisis threatened to destroy Marla's fragile trust. Unless the deputy could convince her that her family had a special place in the community...and in this bachelor's heart. You will have to pick up the book and find out all the excitement that happens in this book!!

It was a great, fast read to keep me entertained while way too many other things were going on in my life.  It was an interesting and different story with the wonderful holiday setting that these books seem to share. I love the way the town always pulls together to help others in need.  This book was a little different twist because the person didn't want to get any help.  I guess that I understand that part of it because there are many things that I wouldn't want help with either.  It is an interesting read that makes you stop and think about helping others without expecting anything in return.  The greatest part is that you get to see some of the great characters from the other books and meet a few new ones that we haven't met before.  I hope that you pick up this book and check it out for yourself.  I am still not sure what order these books go in but this seems like a little bit older book so it might go towards the top of the list.  Let me know what you think if you read it!!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Menu Plan Monday 4/20

I am not even writing down the menu on paper until after we eat it anymore.  Things have been super busy and everyone wants to see the house when they get off work (aka dinnertime).  We have spent many a night waiting to get back into our house and giving up to go to a restaurant.  This week is going to be super busy because I have two days with contractors and two days working.  We also have soccer practice and soccer game which makes evenings difficult.  I know that I am not going to be able to pull together the whole week but I have some chicken and ground beef in the freezer so I am planning on using those.  Here are the meals we are going to have this week:

Tacos with saffron rice
French Dip Sloppy Joes with chicken rice
Chicken Nugget Wraps with homemade fries
Spaghetti with pizza bites
Something with Chicken Breast
Leftovers or Eating out for the other nights
Dinner with Friends (don't know what we are bringing yet)

Here is hoping that I have time to make the pizza bites Sunday night before the week starts so that we can actually have some!!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Missing Book Review

I was glad that I reserved a bunch of books at the library to come off at different times because I was so busy with the move that I didn't have time to make it to the library to pick out books but I was able to grab them off the reserve shelf when they came in.  Missing: The Secrets of Crittenden County, Book One by Shelley Shepard Gray was the next one that appeared on my reserve shelf.

When the shocking death of a young man, Perry Borntrager, rocks a quiet Amish community, the dead man’s former girlfriend and his “Englisher” best friend find themselves murder suspects. The boy had been missing for months but the community thought that he left because he had changed and made some bad decisions until a young girl found his body in a well.  A police detective arrives to help the local sheriff and is greeted by mistrust because he is an outsider.  All of the people involved are keeping the truth hidden because they don't want to speak badly of the dead man but they are confusing the investigation by hiding information.  This is an interesting book of mystery and friendship but you have to pick up the book to find out what happens.

Although I loved the writing and can't wait to pick up the next book from the library, this book left a little to be desired.  I need a book to stand on it's own and I don't think that this one does.  It is a great story about looking into the death of a young Amish man who was murdered but the story doesn't get resolved or have any real plot twists.  The characters weren't really developed in this book although there were a few things revealed.  The whole basis of the resolution in this book is that Lydia and Walker are keeping secrets which they end up telling the detective by the end of the book.  I don't think that is enough intrigue to call this book a mystery or think that anything was solved.  The book just ended and nothing was solved.  Although I love books in sequence, this book should have had a little bit more resolution if we were to believe that these secrets were that important to breaking the case.  I don't know if you have checked out this book or others by this author but I think that some of her fiction work is better written and she was reaching too far to make this a mystery.  Still being a glutton for punishment, I got the next two books in the series to see what happens.  I might have a better view after reading the other books in the series.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Thrifty Thursday: Scrapping

My husband has been working on a little stockpile of things to scrap from the construction on the new house. Then, we went through the old house finding lots of stuff to scrap including a box of network cabling and lots of random wires.

He did a little research through the iScrap app which you can install on your Apple or Android phone.  It gives you some pointers on what recycle and where your local place is to recycle.

Then, he took a variety of things to the place to get the feel for how to do it because you can't figure it out until you go and try.  He brought some wires, copper and old lights.  They took everything and he got a receipt that he had to scan at another machine.  He came home with $48 in cash for a little bit of work and what we had around the house.  I realize that not everyone has this much stuff but it is great to recycle all the items you can so that they don't end up in a landfill instead of getting used to make something else.  The biggest bonus is we walk away with money.  I can't wait to fill up the truck again with what we have left in the garage to recycle!!

Have you ever scrapped? What tips do you have for us to know before going next time?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken

I read Supermarket Healthy cookbook and found my favorite recipe in the book to be Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken and most of the others weren't ones that I really loved but then I decided to try it.  Check it out on their website here.

I had some chicken that I got at Wegman's out for dinner and I didn't know what I was going to make so I decided to pull together some of the ingredients and make this recipe.

I mixed the ingredients to make the dredge for the chicken.  It looked a little gross for me but then I stirred.

It mixed up and looked like normal mustard and I only used the spatula because I knew that any lumps would bake out when it was in the oven.

I used a mix of crushed whole wheat Ritz and Panko breadcrumbs.  I didn't know anything about Panko breadcrumbs until I got a coupon for them and I love them now!  They make things extra crispy which is super useful when you are baking instead of frying so it makes it crispy but healthier.

I dipped the chicken into the mustard mixture and then pressed them into the bread crumb mixture.  I like a lot of bread crumbs so I pressed them in all over.  Then, my son decided that he wanted to help so he sprayed both sides of the chicken (I got to flip them).

I put them in the oven to bake.  I love the pizza pan because the holes in the pan mean that you don't have to flip things which is perfect for me because I am horrible at remembering to do those things and then everything goes badly.

I baked this a little long but I got a great chicken breast cutlet which I served with chicken rice for a great meal.  I am sure that I will make it again!!

I put my own twist on the recipe because that is what I do but I think that it turned out great.  My husband thought it was a little too sweet which was why I liked it so much.  I might add a little more hot sauce next time but since I didn't measure, I guess we will see how that turns out!!  I think that they would be perfect on their own or with dipping sauces too.  I look forward to trying to make them into buffalo chicken baked into buffalo sauce next time.  I think that will win my husband over next time!!

Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken


For the Honey Mustard:

1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise (optional)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Frank's or Sriracha)

For the Chicken:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large chicken breasts) or 4 4-ounce chicken cutlets
Whole wheat cracker crumbs
Panko bread crumbs
Nonstick pan spray


To make the honey mustard: 
Whisk the mustard, honey, mayonnaise, and hot sauce together in a medium bowl.

To make the chicken: 
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut chicken into strips or pound until thin.  Add the chicken to the bowl with the mustard mixture and turn to coat. In a second medium bowl, stir together the bread crumbs. Coat chicken with bread crumb mixture.  Spray each piece of chicken on both sides and set it on the pizza pan with holes. Bake the chicken until golden brown and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Grace Book Review and Recipes from the Book

I was excited that my next book came off reserve but it took me so long to get to the library to get it that there actually two so I had to figure out which one to start with.  I picked Grace: A Christmas Sisters of the Heart Novel by Shelley Shepard Gray which was the holiday book that went with the Sisters of the Heart Novel series that I had already read.  I was trying to read a book that I found on my bookshelf at the house and I was having a horrible time getting through it so I was excited to get to read another really fast moving and interested book in this series.

It's Christmastime at the Brenneman Bed and Breakfast, and everyone is excited about closing down for the holidays. But when two unexpected visitors appear seeking shelter, the family's commitment to hospitality is tested. First Levi arrives, sullen and angry . . . but insisting on staying for five days. Next Melody shows up. She's almost nine months pregnant, but won't say a word about why she traveled all the way from Kentucky by herself. As the two strangers settle in, the Brennemans try to make the best of the situation, except for Katie, who knows a thing or two about keeping secrets. She is determined to learn the truth about these two strangers . . . all while keeping her own secret safely hidden away. The guests become part of the family through the week and there are many reveals of surprising secrets from the guests and the Brenneman family.

I really enjoyed the holiday cheer in the book that made you stop and look at all the things that you are grateful in your life.  The visitors at the bed and breakfast were going through tough times and trying to avoid the holidays by going away to enjoy the rest and relaxation of not being with family. While on the other hand, the Brenneman family was looking forward to a quiet holiday at home.  Nobody got what they expected and reading all the twists and turns with reveals makes for a good book.  As you learn the secrets about each person, more of the character is revealed and you get to like them even more.  I hope that you pick up this book and find out all of the secrets that it holds.  Get it the next time you are at your local library or bookstore and see what interesting reading this Amish fiction has that makes you grateful for your blessings in life.

In case you have never read one of the Amish fiction books, they sometimes have recipes in the back of them.  This book had two that looked really good (both sweets of course).  

Molasses Cookies

1 c butter
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 c molasses
1 c sour milk
4 c flour
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda

Cream together butter, sugar, eggs and molasses and 1 tsp of baking soda.  Add dry ingredients with remaining 1 tsp of baking soda in sour milk.  Bake 375 degree until golden brown.

Best Cinnamon Rolls 

2 packets yeast
2 1/2 c water
1 box yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 c oil
6 c flour
1 tsp salt

Melt margarine, brown sugar and cinnamon mix just enough to coat the tops of rolls (no measurements listed).

Dissolve yeast in warm water,  Add cake mix, eggs, oil, 1 cup flour and salt.  Beat until bubbles appear.  Slowly add remaining flour or enough to make soft dough that you can knead.  Let rise until doubled.

Roll dough 1/4 inch thick, spread with margarine, sugar and cinnamon mixed.  Roll up and slice.  Place slices in greased pans and let rise until doubled.  Bake at 350 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes.  Top with powdered sugar to glaze when cooled.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

March Reading Review

I enjoyed reading a lot of books this month while trying to relax during the end of the construction project and selling our other house.  It was a lot to do but there was also a lot of waiting.  I was waiting in the car to pick up my son, waiting for the contractor to come in the 2 hour window and waiting for the contractors to finish so that I could go finish the other projects on the list.  I hope that you had a good month and enjoyed some good reading.  At one point this month, I had no books checked out the library for myself or my son so that was a first in ages.  We went without books for a very long time because we are always both reading something new but with not knowing what house we were going to be at, a lot of this month was up in the air.  Here is hoping that you enjoyed a little bit calmer month.

If you missed any of my reviews, please feel free to click on the title and it will open up my original review so that you can see if you would like to add it to your reading wish list.  I know that there were some really good books this month and I look forward to reading a few more next month!!  Stay tuned for more great reviews.
by Reed Farrel Coleman

by Cindy Woodsmall

The Promise of Palm Grove
by Shelley Shepard Gray

A Baby for Dry Creek
A Dry Creek Christmas
by Janet Tronstad

by Shelley Shepard Gray

by Shelley Shepard Gray

Metro Girl
by Janet Evanovich

When Mercy Rains
by Kim Vogel Sawyer

When Grace Sings
by Kim Vogel Sawyer

by Shelley Shepard Gray

Total Books Read 2015

January       9
February     13
March         14 

Total Books    36

Friday, April 10, 2015

Forgiven: Sisters of the Heart Book Review

I made what I thought was going to be a quick trip to the library which I had been fighting my son to do for days and we spent two hours there.  We missed all of the other things that we were going to do for the day because we had to get back and get some lunch for my husband who was hard at work with the plumber.  I luckily had reserved all the books in the series in order so that one came off reserve every week (so that I knew which book they were in the series without having to look it up and so that I didn't read it to quickly). Forgiven (Sisters of the Heart, Book 3) by Shelley Shepard Gray, the third book in the series came on my reserve shelf so I was excited after reading a few other books in the middle to get back to this series and find out what has been going on.

Tragedy strikes­—a brother and sister find themselves facing a situation that will shape the rest of their lives.
When a fire destroys the Lundys' barn, Winnie is injured trying to get the animals to safety. Confined to a hospital for weeks, out of touch with her loved ones who live too far away to visit by buggy, she must depend on Englisher Samuel Miller to keep her company. Though his family is part of Winnie's tight-knit Amish community, Samuel left years earlier to pursue a university education. Through conversations, and Samuel's dedication to her recovery, a friendship forms. But despite their growing attraction, Winnie knows it can never develop into something more as long as Samuel chooses to remain in the outside world.
When Winnie returns home, she finds her brother, Jonathan, struggling with his own dilemma. Cigarette butts were discovered in the debris of the barn and Jonathan is determined to find out who is responsible for destroying his property and putting his family at risk. But in a community founded on grace and forgiveness, will his unwillingness to move on eat away at the trust that is the foundation of their lives?

I got this book on Saturday morning and by Sunday morning I was finished.  I was a little sad to be done but it was so hard to put down that I did little else.  I guess I better get back to work and get some things done around the house like packing.  It was a great book with great characters.  I loved learning more about Winnie who seemed a little whiny in the last book so I was glad to see her turn around and get to see other parts of her personality.  There are new people in each book so you want the series to keep going so that you can get to know more about the new people you meet in the coming books.  I hope that you pick this up at your local library or bookstore and see if you like it as much as I did!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Thrifty Thursday: Selling Lots Before Moving

I am doing my best to downsize all of the things in the house before moving to our new house so that we don't have all that clutter.  I started with at least three trips to Goodwill to donate the small things that I didn't think that it was worth to sell. 

I separated out the items that I was going to sell and make a little money.  I took lots of pictures and put some of the big stuff up on Facebook (I am a member of a bunch of different yard sale groups). I also answered a few posts of people interested in things like glass bottles and sold 12 glass baby bottles without having to do much work.

I sold my son's convertible crib.

With Dresser

I also sold my husband's bed

I sold smaller stuff that my son had long ago outgrown.  It is a little harder to make money selling things that are so small but it quickly adds up.  I was working on lots of little kids toys and here are just a few of the many things that I sold in the last few weeks.

Throw in some clothes which don't take up a lot of space but we really don't need anymore.  I started with sleepers because it seems that those are very popular.  Most of the people that came to get sleepers looked through the clothes of the size that they were interested in.  I even sold a few toys with the clothes purchases.

And a few larger kids toys like his wagon, rocket ship ride-on and rocking sheep.

I sold a stroller that we got for a vacation when my little man was much smaller and sold it for nearly what I paid for it because it was barely used.

I tried to sell a few not kids things but the only success other than the bed was the electric griddle.  We have a new one that has the panini maker on the other side and we haven't used this for a long time.  Super glad to not have to move it and make a little money at the same time.

The finally tally of my first attempt to get rid of a few things and make a little money was $788!!!  I was hoping for a little more success but I am still happy with what I have made so far.  I have to pull out the little clothes and go through them to see if there are some things that I might make a little money on and a few things that I have listed that I need to repost that didn't sell the first time.  Here is hoping that I find a few more things that are packed away to sell and declutter. 

Have you had success selling locally online??  I feel like I get a better price selling online then I do having a yard sale?  Although I usually make around $200-$300 from a yard sale which I only have to work for one day and online takes a few weeks.  I make a little more money selling online because you get to the people who specifically want things and know that the pricing is less then buying new.  Let me know if you have any tips for me going forward!!!