Celebrating 2015~ February Day 13

IMG_1121While in Badajoz last week our friend Paula showed me her lace making set-up. This is just fascinating to me! In Spain it’s called “bolittos” and it’s interesting that this youtube was taken in Galicia which is very near us. I actually think I would like to learn this… Paula told me it’s relaxing… can you imagine? Celebrating culture! Watch this:


Celebrating 2015~February Day 9

It’s so nice to get up in the morning and fix my cup of coffee in a special mug. My dear friend Lourdes gave this to me last month when we met in Madrid for coffee. The translation on the cup is “soul-mates”. We have shared much over the past couple of years and she has been a wonderful testimony of strength to many. I’m so thankful for friends and sad when we live far from them. Today is a good day to celebrate friends!



Celebrating 2015~ February day 7

Even though February is full of special days at our house to celebrate, including our wedding anniversary, we haven’t had a chance this year due to our workload and the pressure to get some important projects finished. Still I think celebration should happen even if it’s a quiet moment in my heart of complete gratitude for what I have.

We walked into the village and I saw this pitcher and celebrated by buying it. What a bargain at only 9,95€ or about $11 USD! I think this pitcher which will hold about 1 ½ liters is fabulous. It’ll be perfect for water or sangria. Every village in Spain has it’s own special flair and design and this one is typical of Badajoz.


Celebrating 2015!

I am so excited about what the year 2015 will bring!


We started this year with my birthday in January which always reminds me of the years passing quickly.. maybe a bit too quickly!  So, I am here to report that 2015 DID start with celebration! January was full as we celebrated my mother-in-laws 100th birthday! This was a first for us. We have never been to, nor celebrated a 100th birthday. What a joy! So much family was there and we received so much help as we hosted this event in Virginia.

We know and continue to learn that celebration often requires work. It’s just so… Even vacations takes work, preparation and savings. In fact.. how can one/you really relax if you are going into debt to have a vacation?  Well… we can’t!

2015 started off well!



Photos of the Village




Summer of 2014 Family Photos

Fun times in Lynchburg!


lady reading

What I’m reading in June/July

     (2 links- 1 a paper book and 1 a KINDLE version)

While at the Lisbon retreat, we met and chatted with several co-workers from other countries. One of these couples live and work in Bosnia and shared with us about a book they was reading. Well, I downloaded it right away to my KINDLE (thanks again to Judy & Ian!). Ok… so, the name of the book that I am reading is called: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity  by Nabeel Qureshi. It’s a great read!

Here is his bio:

Dr. Nabeel Qureshi is a former devout Muslim who was convinced of the truth of the Gospel through historical reasoning and a spiritual search for God. Since his conversion, he has dedicated his life to spreading the Gospel through teaching, preaching, writing, and debating.

Nabeel has given lectures at universities and seminaries throughout North America, including Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins, New York University, Rutgers, University of Ottawa, University of North Carolina, Eastern Virginia Medical School, and Biola University. He has participated in 17 moderated, public debates around North America, Europe, and Asia. His focus is on the foundations of the Christian faith and the early history and teachings of Islam.

Nabeel is a member of the speaking team at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. He holds an MD from Eastern Virginia Medical School, an MA in Christian apologetics from Biola University, and an MA from Duke University in Religion.


Lisbon Retreat

Here are some photos of our wonderful time in Lisbon. We had a lovely breakfast and then we drove into the village resort called Caparica and took long walks and one day we bought a lunch out. What a bargain that was! John had the pork roast with french fries and rice for only 3,50€! I had the fish. It was crowded with local workers and we had a great time sitting outside chatting.

The retreat was a blessing and a wonderful rest.


Retreat. What a blessing!

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Village Olive Oil

Boy I wish I could share this with you so you could taste this green gold. The olive oil processing company here in the village has been working overtime to process the last harvest and here is the result. I bought 3  – 5 liter jugs of this precious stuff from a neighbor. We go through a lot of this and making 1 Spanish tortilla takes about 1/2 liter of oil.

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My solution to make my housework “lighter”

housecleaning   I have learned over the years that keeping up on my housework is a whole lot easier if I do this one thing…

when I go into a room, I always try to leave it cleaner than when I went in. Sometimes in rooms like the powder room, it’s just a matter of washing a few spots off the mirror or using a Clorox wipe to keep door knobs,or  handles disinfected. In larger rooms, there always seems to be something to return to it’s proper place or dust and grim to be wiped up. I also like to carry a damp cleaning rag as  walk though the house to wipe the dust off of surfaces or the tops of pictures on the wall. After all, I’m walking through anyway and I might a well keep the dirt and sticky bits at a minimum. This is particularly helpful for those times when children are in the house and it makes clean up a lot easier.    Anything to save my aching back, I’m in favor of!


working through the pantry & Fridge


Another empty jam jar today.

I used  up another jar of jam this morning. This time it was strawberry. We still have lots of lentils, beans and rice and will use some this week. Where are you in your pantry items? Stuffed? reducing? For me… time to clean out!! After all…it’s SPRING!

The big question is… spender or saver… what are YOU? I am a saver and pretty darn frugal!


Cheese slices- GONE!


Using up what we have!

Using up what I have and saving money!

Inspired by my daughters efforts to use up all the food in her kitchen cupboards for their ultimate goal of getting completely out of debt (see her blog… click  here), here are some of the food items  I used up today that has left me feeling freer too.

The last of the fig jam! One less jar to clutter my refrigerator.

The last of the fig jam! One less jar to clutter my refrigerator.

I used this packet of Sloppy Joe mix ( I still have several), mixed according to the directions on the package and I will serve it over Linguini for our main meal today.

I used this packet of Sloppy Joe mix ( I still have several), mixed according to the directions on the package and I will serve it over Linguini for our main meal today.

 It feels good to use it up and free up space in my kitchen.

My last package of linguini. It feels good to use it up and free up space in my kitchen all the while spending less at the market.

There will be leftovers with this meal providing at least 1 other meal.




I used this yogurt up this morning.

I used this yogurt up this morning.


A New Washing Machine & A Special Blessing!

After a frustrating day yesterday, we have our NEW washing machine but the best part was how our home-church, Grace Community, took the initiative to write to us and tell us that they would pay for it! Can you imagine the joy we felt?!  We were so amazed to see how the Lord blessed us through these dear saints with a ‘positive’ after a day which didn’t start out so well.

Here is a look at our new blessing! Thank you Grace Church Family!

The brand of washer "Haier" was economical.

The brand of washer
“Haier” was economical & good.

John and Jesus, putting in the new washer.

John and Jesus, putting in the new washer.

My 1st load is already in!

My 1st load is already in! It has a 7 kg capacity.

washing machine repair

Washing Machine Problems

washing machine repair        Well, what a start to the day! Part of my morning routine is to start a load of wash before I fix breakfast and get that going because a normal cycle takes 102 minutes, plus the fact that I have no clothes dryer so all clothes have to be hung.  This day started a bit differently because the washing machine broke. Seems that the control panel went dodgy and even after John tried to fix it, it still was a hopeless cause. Around here, if something needs to be fixed and CAN be fixed, John is able to do it. Not this time. Besides this, we have had rain for 3 days and nothing seems to dry that well inside the house.

Our 10 year old Whirlpool is dead.

Our 10 year old Whirlpool is dead.

John called a guy he knows in the neighboring village and it looks like we will be buying a new washer. Ours is 10 years old and a new control panel will cost about 200€ (about $278 these days) + the technicians fee. We can get the least expensive washer for about 250€ (that’s about $347.50). This is really not the time we want to be buying new appliances, but our hand has been forced.

In the meantime, I’m washing by hand. Thankfully the house comes with a sink and scrub board. We press on!

Washing by hand with my handy-dandy scrubbing sink.

Washing by hand with my handy-dandy scrubbing sink.

Rainy days and the inside drying rack. It may take 2 days!

Rainy days and the inside drying rack. It may take 2 days!



Free Coffee At Mc Donalds (starts Monday March 31st))

MCDONALD'S MCCAFE FREE COFFEE EVENT   Press release from Mc Donalds: – Wake up and taste the free coffee! McCafe invites coffee drinkers across the U.S. to stop by their local participating McDonald’s restaurant for a freshly brewed small McCafe coffee during McDonald’s first-ever national Free Coffee Event.  Free McCafe coffee is available during breakfast hours starting March 31 through April 13 in participating restaurants.

For more information, visit their website: