This is 34!

Today is my birthday…34!

I had no big plans for my birthday and wasn’t really sure how the day would play out, but I just went with it and really had a fabulous day!  To say I felt very loved was an understatement. Phone calls, cards, flowers, Facebook messages, supper out, and some gifts (including buying myself a few) made the day extra special.

Some special gifts…

photo (1) photo (4) photo (5)

A couple of things I bought for myself….

photo (2) photo 1

A birthday date with Mr. L. (Ryan was out of town, sad face)…  Oh and Luke even paid the bill!

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And to top the night off, ice cream…

photo 5A great day to celebrate a new year to come!



Spring Fever

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have spring fever.  I am looking forward to hearing the birds chirping in the early morning hours, the green grass, tulips in bloom, and a nice spring rain shower to wash away the dirt left from the winter melt.  Since today is officially the first day of spring, what better day to do a little spring inspiration post!

1. I love this idea from Offbeat Home & Life!  What a great way to recycle!

no-drip-watering-0710122. I really would like to try my hand at an herb garden this year.  This one from Homestead Lifestyle is great!

herb garden3. I have been eying a rustic indoor terrarium like this one at TJ Maxx.  This makes me tempted to head over there!

Spring In The Dining Room -TITLE PAGE-stonegableblog.comHappy First Day of Spring!

Wisdom Highlights

Yesterday morning, I had 2 gray hairs in the front of my hairline, right at my part.  Of course, they were short so they poked up and were totally noticeable to everyone (or probably just me!).  I only have a few grays and I am one of those that pulls them out and no, 2 do not grow back in the place of 1.  It really is funny how they just magically appear one day and you feel like you have aged 10 years overnight.

24ef544426e53d98b6a5f8ce9de1d572It’s funny though because even with my couple of gray hairs, I still get asked quite often how old I am and get stares when I tell people that I have a 12 year old.  Oh, how I loved the shocked looked when women ask me that.  “You are not old enough to have a 12 year old.”  How old were you when you had him?”  “There is no way you have owned 4 houses, you are not old enough.”  Oh the comments I have heard!

I even got quoted the high school student price for lunch a couple of years ago when I was working at a high school.  Now, that is a little over the top.  I mean, I was 30 at the time!

But when it comes down to it, I am happy to be the age that I am, gray hairs and all.  I really am wiser.  I have more wisdom to offer, more patience (most of the time), and I feel much more comfortable in my own skin (even the stuff that is sagging more than I would like).  So I will take the gray hairs that pop up in stride and will smile when on the same day that I am lamenting over the couple of new grays, I get called a young lady by a lovely older lady with much more gray hair than is currently on my head.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Hearts Day!  Vintage Valentine’s Day cards make my day so I thought I would share a few of my favs.  How can you not laugh at cards that say, “Hey “Pod-ner” Let’s be Valentines” or “You’ll missle- lot if you won’t be my valentine”?

big weigh






missleHope you all have a great day filled with lots of sweet treats!

It Really Was Awesome!

We went to The Lego Movie last night and it was great!  I am not generally a movie lover so for me to say that a movie was great, it is a big deal.  Since Luke is the ultimate in Lego collectors, he has been itching to see it.  I was hesitant thinking that it might be sort of cheesy.  And it totally was in a totally awesome way.

There was a good mix of humor to keep kids and adults entertained.  It had a really good storyline.  It kept me (the ADD type) watching.  It was a feel good movie for the whole family.

Lego Movie

If you have been thinking about taking the kids or grandkids to a cute, cheesy, feel good family show, check it out!  You won’t be disappointed.  It is not going to be an Oscar winning film no doubt, but it sure was fun!

Cute, Cute, Cute!

I came across this website, Emily Burger Designs, a while back and fell in love with this adorable art.  She makes everything from wall art to inspirational mirror cards, kids prints to bookmarks.

Mirror CardsMirror Cards

s719512059517668958_p42_i1_w578Kids Art

encouragment for the dayWall Art

Custom State Wall ArtFamily Across the States Wall Art

If you are looking for some cute art for your house, check out this website.  I don’t know Emily, but I do know cute art and this is CUTE!  Always like to give my blog readers the heads up when I find something great!

Joy Jars

JoyIt is a practice to find the joy in each and every day.  In the mundane of life, we tend to forget that there really is joy in each day even in the midst of hardship.

For this reason, we decided to keep Joy Jars for 2014.  January was our practice run.  The goal was to write something everyday that brought us joy…a kind thing we did for someone, something that we were thankful for, a Bible verse or other saying that resonated with us that day.  I say it was a practice run because I think more often than not, we all forgot.  But, at the end of the month, we had many joys in our jars to share with each other.

jarsOn the first of every month, we plan to empty our jar and read our Joys.  Then I am going to write them down on a notebook paper to keep track of each month and will start with an empty jar again.

Here is a sampling of our January Joys:

  • I was nice to the new kid at school
  • Spending time building with my dad
  • The hot tub on a cold winter night
  • A quiet weekend at home
  • Quote: Be who you are not who the world wants you to be.
  • Isaiah 26:3-4; You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you.  Trust the Lord forever, for the Lord God is the everlasting rock.
  • Warm, bright sun on a cold winter dayjoy


Blog Update


If you are a follower of The Thrifty Queen Speaks, you may have noticed that my blog is looking very different.  I have decided to revamp the blog and make it a little more general.  I will always be my thrifty self, but I wanted to broaden the horizons of this blog to feature other aspects of me and the things that I do.

You will continue to find thrifty deals, fun and easy decorating ideas, recipes, and so much more here.  Because I am eclectic and a little ADD, you just never know what you will find on Simply Hope.  :)

You can also find the blog by typing in or still going to  If you have ideas of anything you would like me to write about, let me know!

Saving of the Green!

I saved some green today buying some gray, black, and red.  Luke put on his winter coat a couple of days ago (wore it last winter) and the sleeves and length of the coat are starting to creep a little more than they should!  I guess it is a 10/12 size and it is probably time for a 14.  Me, being thrifty as I am, couldn’t even think about making a trip to Scheels or Kohls for a new coat.  I also couldn’t bring myself to buy a Wal-Mart winter coat.  Being thrifty also means making wise purchases on pieces that will last the whole season and will be warm.  Sometimes when you try to save money on a cheaply made piece, you end up replacing it faster, which makes it cost more in the long run.

After some pondering and a little kicking myself for not looking at garage sales this summer, I remembered something….consignment shopping!  I stopped at several stores in town with no luck and was starting to think that I might have to do some online shopping, but made one more stop before heading home.  I am certainly glad I did, too!

What I found was exactly what I was looking for and then some.  I got a gently used Columbia jacket and snowpants set for $40!  I am certain at Scheels the same set would have cost me $150 or more.

columbiaI wasn’t even looking for snowpants, but I am thrilled to pieces that I found a pair that match the jacket!  Now I don’t need to go out searching for new snowpants when I realize that his from last year don’t fit either :)  I am usually such a planner, but not this year, I guess.  Now to see if the winter boots that I bought at the end of the season last year are actually going to fit!

Thrifty find of the day complete.  Now I better get some school work done and get my house cleaned for Thanksgiving!

64 Years and Still Going Strong

My life has been eternally blessed by many individuals, but there are two who deserve a very special shout out today!  These two people have taught me about life, love, commitment, family, and hard work.  They have shown me love through every stage of my life.  They have been to more music programs, dance recitals, sports games, graduations, and family holidays than I can even begin to remember.  They have cheered us on in good times and lifted our spirits in hard times.  These two special people are my grandparents, Howard and Ardy.  Today, they celebrate their 64th wedding anniversary.  A wedding anniversary that very few people ever get the opportunity to celebrate, but one that will go down in the books as a part of the history of these two amazing people.

64 years of laughter…

64 years of family…

64 years of dedication and commitment…

64 years of having loved and been loved…

64 years of supporting each other through the good times and the bad…

gandg2 gandg gandg4 gandg6 gandg3 gandg5

Words cannot express just how much my grandparents have blessed my life and the lives of all the people they have encountered in their lives.  Their commitment to their family, friends, community, church, and God have been evident through their acts of love and kindness to everyone they meet.  My grandma has a gift of welcoming in everyone she meets with a hug and a conversation.  She entertains guests around her dining room table with homemade food that receives rave reviews.  Her gift of hospitality is evident in everything she does.  She is a prayer warrior and devoted learner, who has instilled in me a love of learning as well.  My grandpa is a man of few words, but of strong conviction.  He has taught me about dedication, honor, and dignity in the way he lives his life everyday.  He has worked hard for everything he has in his life and his dedication to his family shows through in everything he does.


It is with extreme gratitude that I say, thank you, Grandpa and Grandma, for your love and for your dedication to each other and your family.  You are a blessing to me and our whole family!  Thank you for being who you are and for loving all of us each and everyday!  Happy Anniversary!  May you have many more years of laughter and love to come!