DIY, Family, Frugal

Going Old School (again)

Ah, the budget. A thing ever one loves to hate. We, here at Henneke Farm, have put it off for a while. We were still in new house mode where everything needed repaired/updated ASAP.  Then we had a family vacation followed by 2 emergency trips out east. Now we were scrambling for financial air so it’s back to square one. Hello Dave Ramsey!

We have been debt free for several years now and I can’t tell you how awesome that is. Truly, you have to experience it to know. We pay cash for everything so no worries about credit card bills. We live on a modest amount (for all 5 of us & 25ish animals) so we aren’t doing terrible but there was a lot of room for improvement.

Here is a snapshot of the system we had during the “haze”

I go to store and call husband from parking lot-

Me: “I’m at the store, what can I spend?”

Husband: “not much”

Me: “so….like you wanna eat beans this week?”

Husband:”no, you can get real food just not much”

Me:”I need dollar figures, I’m not a mind reader”

Husband:”about $50″

*I go into store and buy half of aisle 9 because we are out of everything

Repeat that about 3x a week for 2-3 months. Fun, right?!

Yeah, not so much. So we sat down and wrote it all out. My husband, who is techy printed out the budget. I am hands on and I had to write mine….to make the numbers “real”, you know. Then came the debit card verses the cash system debate.

My argument : I can keep better tabs on spending if I have cash and I’ll spend less.

His argument : It’s better to use a card because all purchases are accounted for online.

This went on for a while. It was a nice cicular discussion that tends to flow around itself and arrive exactly back at the beginning everytime. *sigh*

We ended up settling on the cash system with a challenge. I could use the cash from a recent sale for all of the food/household/animal purchases this month. Here’s the challenge – the money I would have taken out stays in the bank and I have a about $300 less than I normally would have to work with. Challenge accepted!  One week down…3 more to go!

My homemade cash system. I just cut down tabbed dividers to fit my wallet and added a cover made from a plastic folder. On each category I wrote the total for the month and when to withdraw it. I’m an old fashioned girl living in a high tech world!
Being Mama, Family


Photo on 2014-11-25 at 09.55 #2

Yesterday we were coming home from Noah’s lesson and it has become my habit to “chore prep” in the car. Meaning, before we get home I’m outlining what needs to be accomplished that evening.  Yes, I’m a slave driver. I’m not sorry.

Anyhow, the chicken saga continues and even though they have granted us a handful of eggs we are still working on a solution. We made them an outdoor pen but that didn’t solve it.  That is the current project. My son has his own project and sometimes needs a helping hand.  Guess who? Yup, mama to the rescue.  It’s funny to me how the tables have turned.  Now I am trading and bargaining work with my son as we both are project people.  How fast the time goes!

Yesterday was a mellower evening for us and we spent the last hour of the day hanging out and telling jokes.  Always a favorite activity at our house.  We have had a lot of frustrating days but as my kids grow I find myself in a quandary.  At the baby stage I wished they could stay little.  I couldn’t wait for them to grow past that awkward not-a-toddler-anymore-but-still-ornery stage and now that 2/3 of my kids have left elementary school for good I am back to wanting to hold on but seeing the need for letting go. What is a mom to do?

happy Parenting!



While the hubs spent time getting paperwork in order I took the kids to the aquarium.  It was nice. I have to use the GPS to find my way across the street but it was a fun outing. We visited the one in Pine Knoll and they had a live owl presentation today. They have a fair amount of touchable sea life as well which is always fun.  We also go to be crabby- literally.  Not a bad way to spend the day 🙂

Being Mama, Family, Kids

Raising Little Ladies


I took this picture one day in early spring.  It was a quick kid photo shoot so I could update our pictures. Often we fail to get our own family pictures done (yes, my husband is a photographer) so I fill in the blanks with my own shots.

As I go back through photos this one always stands out to me.  My little girl peeks out at me and I see the woman she will become.  It is both a proud and frightening moment frozen in time. If I can do anything good for this gift of a child I hope to give her what I did not have.  I pray she is confident in herself and wise in her choices and that she puts God at the center of her life.

I know the time will come soon enough when the things I have taught her will have to stand on their own.  She will decide the direction of her life.  But for now I hope that the time I have with her will stand still just a little bit longer.

Family, Get Happy!

Choose Joy


This picture always makes me smile.  My friend Nelli Sudbrock did our portraits a few years back and this one just makes me so happy.  We were goofing around and Nelli had them attack us with kisses and it tickled so bad I couldn’t stop laughing!

Being a mother and a wife can be so tiring at times.  There are things I feel helpless to change and things I wish I had done differently.  There are times I wish I had spoken up and times I wish I had kept silent.  Oh, being human is such hard work!

I often think that if God just made us perfect then we could do things right the first time. No Mistakes! That isn’t the plan though. The plan is that we trust Him. Mistakes and all.

It’s tough trusting when you have lived by staying guarded for so long.  I find that when my trust is weak I can no longer find the joy that I seek.  When my trust is strong I no longer worry about the things I cannot fix.  God will take me through and I will pass the test at hand..if I trust.  I find that joy and trust are joined together for me.  My worry weighs me down but oh the relief that I feel when I just give it to God.

This season of life has made me realize that there simply isn’t time to mess around.  We get one shot at this journey and then we have to stand back and see if we hit the mark. Life can get heavy and we can sag under the load at times.  I’m glad I know where to go when the cares of this life get heavy.

Matthew 11:28-29 

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Family, Life, Love


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…to borrow a few words from the man who knew how to use them. Things have been difficult lately with dad’s swift decline but some beautiful moments have happened and that is what I am so thankful for. Every day that we live is a gift. Every.single.moment. Live fully and love with everything you’ve got. It’s so worth it. You cannot put a price tag on the most precious moments of life. They are irreplaceable. Treat them according.  When in doubt, love.

Family, Life

Silver Linings

IMG_0333So yesterday I had prepared a post with some fun little crafts in it and today it seems to have disappeared. That has been happening a lot lately.  I think I’ve got maybe 3/4 of my life kinda going in the right direction and then….whoops! I’m not talking about forgetting appointments or misplacing important items. (although I do that pretty much on a daily basis too)  I mean the way we actually LIVE.  Like the condition of our spirit and how we respond to life’s ups and downs and…how we deal with changes we need to make within ourselves.  Ok, so I mean me. But while you are here reading this I am sure you can relate.

Normally I am a pretty content person.  I really don’t need much. We live on a small income and we do a lot for ourselves rather than hire it out.  We typically have too much month at the end of the money but we always have the things we need.  Miraculously, we have never NEVER been without.

My husband was out of work for the better part of the year when my third child was born. He traveled to any training that the National Guard had going on.  They pay for training and they used to pay food and lodging as well.  He spent time working all over the states and even got to travel to Korea.  That one was actually pretty cool.  Even though I really hate being a single parent for weeks and months at a time we were taken care of.

We had a mystery gasser…no, not the kind you are thinking of.  We had been in the middle of the coldest part of winter.  Our propane was running low and we had no money to fill it.  It was nearing Christmas and I was huge with my February baby. Out of nowhere the propane delivery guy has pulled up and is filling our tank. My husband tried to direct him to the neighbor’s thinking they had the wrong house number.  But, to our surprise it was 100% paid for by a mysterious benefactor.  Thank you, whoever you are.

To say that we are well off is untrue but to say that we have not been well taken care of is also untrue.  We have had a series of bad events it seems but in the midst I am trying to remind myself of the good and the blessings we have already received.

The hubs and I are going to NC next week.  It will be nice to hang out in warmer temps and have time without the kids.  The reason we are going isn’t all that fun though.  My father in law is dying.  He is a very sick man.  This may be our last visit with him.  We had tried to help out with his care as much as we could but the distance across the country was just too great.  My heart breaks but I know my husband needs me now.

Sometimes nothing really can help or fix a situation.  I find myself weeping at odd moments and wondering what people must think of me.  Truth is, I don’t care anymore.  I will do what I need to do to stay strong.  Sometimes our strength only comes when we are broken.

I leave you with this song.  Why Not Trust God Again by Kurt Carr.  It has never failed to speak to the situation at hand and fill me with hope to keep moving forward trusting in the knowledge that God is already handling my tomorrows.

p.s. I’m still figuring our links so don’t shoot me if it doesn’t work, thanks 😉

Coffee, DIY, Family, Home

Time to Get Busy


Another day another post.  I am sorry to say that my parents must return home today. It’s been fun and now it’s time to say goodbye. 😦 The next visit will be on us and we will have to make the trip over to see the clan.

Well, I shall not be bored in the mean time! I have a line up of projects that should keep me hopping for quite a while.  What’s in the works you ask? Let me tell you.

Finish staining and installing office shelves

Install large cork board

Mix glorious paint leftovers into something lovely

Paint office

Paint girl 1 room

Paint my room

Paint living room

Paint hallway

Stain stairs

Make wall words for my room- not sure which quote/scripture I’d like yet…

Make wall words for Living room- “As for me and my house” maybe?

Paint large mirror frame and install near entry

Make slip cover for “new” couch

Hmm… I think I’ll start with a cup of coffee and then decide which one I want to tackle first!