Saturday, December 29, 2007

Wandering Through My Meanderings

Hi there!

I thought I'd just check in and say, "Hi!" We finally finished all the Christmas festivities yesterday. It takes us all week as we have our immediate family Christmas at home and then hop in the car the next day and travel to see family in two seperate locations.

It's exhausting.

I haven't had a decent nights sleep in three nights. We were at my FIL's last night. A little noise, a warmer climate and a noisy bed don't make for a restful night. We are now back at my parents house...I think I might score some Tylenol PM from my Mom tonight.

We'll be here for a few more days...the lure of cable television, a 56" screen and HDTV on New Years Day is keeping us here. Husband murmured something about "awesome football" when he decided we would stay.

Personally, I'm all about HGTV and the Rose Parade.

I love the area that my parents live. Husband and I started out here, but within the first six months of marraige moved to an area five hours away for job reasons. I thought it would be for just a couple of years and then we would move back.

HA!

Seventeen years later we are still in the same faraway place.

This has been a real struggle for me emotionally and spiritually of late. I'm not blooming where I'm planted. I really would like to be transplanted. I want to be in a pot right next to my Mom and Dad. As my parents get older this is getting to be a really deep seated desire.

So I pray.

I yearn.

I Google real estate.

I know God works out His plan for our lives in His time. So how come I get so impatient? How do I know that my desires are His desires for me? Why can't I just be content right where I am? How do I know if this discontent is Godly or not? Am I suffering from the grass is greener syndrom?

I keep praying.

I read my Bible.

I walk faithfully...or at least try to.

Such are the meanderings of my mind this time of year. Which is entirely normal for me, but somehow seems more intense this year. Sigh.

I wish I could think of a nice satisfying way to conclude this entry. I feel like I have been all over the map here...thanks for following along. I'll try to be a little more focused next time I write.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Bloggy Break

There comes a time in every woman's life when she must admit she can't do it all. I have come to that point. With only a week until Christmas and only half my shopping done I need to cut down on a few things. I decided that blogging would have to be one of them.

Sooooo, I'm going to take a short break from blogging until after Christmas and New Year's Days. Now having said that, I have to admit that I may slip in a post here and there in the next couple of weeks as time allows. So I hope you will check in periodically.

I hope that all of you who take the time to read my little missives have a wonderful Christmas day and a very Happy New Year's day. I also hope that you keep Him at the center of all you do. He is the reason for the season, after all.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
~John 3:16

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Cookie (Recipe) Exchange is Here!


Welcome all you cookie lovers out there! I'm so glad you were able to join me for this little Christmas party. I hope that you enjoy all the great recipes and their stories. As you go around and visit remember to leave a comment (because don't they just make your day?).

If you just happened upon this party feel free to join in and leave a link to your blog post with your recipe and story! Mr. Linky is at the end of this post.

Now let's get down to the good stuff.

Okay, I've got my coffee in hand and I'm going to tell you about my favorite cookie recipe. I love Snickerdoodles. Oh, I know, it's not a traditional Christmas cookie but it does have that one important Christmas ingredient, cinnamon. And that other mysterious and exotic ingredient, Cream of Tartar. I only use that ingredient in these cookies and biscuits.

Snickerdoodles are also the first cookie I remember making with my Mom. This particular recipe is from her 1963 Betty Crocker Good and Easy Cookbook. The cookbook is falling apart now. Mom uses a rubber band to keep it together. But it is so precious because it holds such wonderful memories.

So without further adoo, here is my recipe for Snickerdoodles (okay, it's really Betty Crockers, but you know what I mean).

SNICKERDOODLES

1 Cup shortening ( I like to do half butter and half shortening)
1 1/2 Cup sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 Cups flour
2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

3 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degree fahrenheit.

In large mixing bowl cream shortening with sugar. Add eggs.

In seperate bowl mix together dry ingredients (except 3 T sugar and cinnamon). Mix dry ingredients with wet until dough forms.

In shallow bowl mix together 3 Tablespoons sugar and cinnamon.

Now take a teaspoon (as in the kind you stir your tea with) and scoop out a bit of dough. Form this into a ball and roll the ball in the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. When cookie sheet is full bake in oven for 8 - 10 minutes. (If you use air bake cookie sheets like I do it takes 11 - 12 minutes.) Remove cookies to rack or paper towels to cool and enjoy! This recipe makes approximately 5 dozen cookies.

Now let's here your stories!

Technical Note: This Mr. Linky may be different from the one you have used on other blogs. I had a hard time using that one so opted for this. Whether you plan on linking a recipe or not go ahead and click on the icon below, there you will find everyone's links. Thank you for your patience!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Holiday Par-tay!


Well there's a celebration going on over at Looking Towards Heaven and I thought I would just join in! Karla has some great recipes of her own posted and there are more on the way from others.
Now since I'm West Coast I like a little Mexican food at a party. One of my favorites is this recipe for a Chili Relleno Casserole. It was given to me by a dear friend who received it from her husband's mother I believe. I love it because it involves A LOT of cheese...and well, I like cheese. So here it is:
Chili Relleno Casserole
3 egg whites
3 egg yolks
1 can of evaporated milk
3 Tablespoons of flour
pinch of pepper
1 lg can (or 3 sm. cans) of Ortega Whole Green Chilis
1 - 1lb. brick of cheddar cheese grated
1 - 1lb. brick of Monterey Jack cheese grated
1 - 8 0z. can of tomato sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
Take green chilis and slice in half length wise, set aside.
Grate all cheese, set aside.
Grease a 2qt. casserole dish and begin layering chilis and cheese. Chilis first then cheese and so on. End with a layer of cheese on top.
Seperate eggs and beat whites until fluffy. Mix yolks, milk, flour and pepper together. Gently fold in egg whites. Pour mixture over chilis and cheese.
Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes spread tomato sauce on top of casserole. Bake for another 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for about ten minutes before serving. VERY YUMMY!
I thought I would bring along a dessert too. This recipe was given to me by the gal who introduced me to Husband. She is very Swedish...I don't know that the recipe itself is a Swedish recipe but in my mind it is because she is.
I love this dessert for its tart cranberries and the warm, sweet sauce that goes over it.
Cranberry Cake
Cake:
1/2 Cup sugar
dash of salt
I Cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 Cup of fresh cranberries
1 1/2 Tablespoon melted butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
Sift together dry ingredients. Stir in remaining items. Bake in a greased 8"X8" pan for 30 minutes.
While cake is baking prepare this sauce (you will need a double boiler):
1/2 cup sugar
1 cube of butter
1/2 cup cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash of salt
Combine ingredients and cook in the double boiler for 15 min.
Alow cake to cool a bit, slice and serve with some of the sauce poured over an individual slice. Very yummy! Of course, a good strong cup of Swedish coffee goes well with this.
Well, that's about all I can carry to one party. And since there are more dishes coming I'm sure there will be plenty for everyone. So enjoy the fun and the food!
P.S. Calories don't count in December.
P.P.S. Be sure to join me here on Friday for The Cookie (Recipe) Exchange! Details here.
P.P.P.S. I'm sorry the text is so squished together. I don't know why it does this. WYSIWIG is NOT always what you get! (grrr)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Just A Reminder


I just wanted to remind everyone about The Cookie (Recipe) Exchange I am hosting here this Friday. Click on the highlighted words in my right hand margin for more details!

Compliments Are Funny Things

This has been an interesting weekend.

On Saturday I went to a Ladies Christmas tea. I have to admit that I went half-heartedly. I had plenty to do at home and I was just, flat tired. I had a nice time...nothing to write home about...but nice.

At the tea we listened to a very good teaching about being Marys and not Marthas this time of year. The speaker gave an example of a mythical Christmas lady that we possibly all have in the back of our minds. A sort of Martha Stewart meets the Proverbs 31 lady with the Titus 2:3-5 lady thrown in for good measure. Everyone had a nice chuckle at that, acknowledging that she is indeed lurking in the back of minds this time of year.

On Sunday a dear friend came up to me and whispered in my ear, " You are my mythical Christmas lady." I hope that I appeared to take it well. But in truth I was appalled. I would like to note that this friend meant this in the best way possible, as a compliment.

But compliments can be funny things.

Either I am doing that well, I do have it that together...OR....I'm putting up a better front than I thought. Not that I try to put up a front. Because I don't. What you see is pretty much what you get. I am a work in progress and I am far from perfect. And it is uncomfortable, to say the least, to have someone view me that way.

Husband assured me that I don't come off as perfect. But, you know, he may be too close to the situation.

I am really a little dismayed. I want to be a good example to other women, especially younger women. But I don't want to appear perfect because it implies a sort of unrelatability. Like I couldn't possibly know what it is like to have a messy house, things undone, snotty nosed kids, bills unpaid, etc., etc., etc. The thing is I know all to well about those things. It is only by God's grace and strength that I get through each day. I'm telling you that I can do nothing in my own strength and when I do, it can be very ugly.

So if you know me in real life and you think, for some odd reason, that I am perfect or something, I just want to say that I am not. I am a work of God, still being worked on, still struggling with sin and all that stuff. I am where I am by His grace.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Sunday Psalm - Advent Edition

There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,
And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD,

His delight is in the fiear of the LORD,
And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes,
Nor decide by the hearing of His ears;

But with righteousness He shall judge the poor,
And decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips shall slay the wicked.

Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins,
And faithfulness the belt of His waist.

~Isaiah 11:1-5

For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him.
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.

He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

~Isaiah 53:2-6

Friday, December 7, 2007

Time Has Been Discontinued


Yes, it's true, time has been discontinued. I knew that I was running out on a daily basis...but I was startled to discover that it had been discontinued altogether.


Okay, so you are probably asking yourself, "What on earth is she talking about?"


Well, here's the deal. Do you remember calling POPCORN when you were a kid to find out what time it was?


It has been discontinued.


Yes folks as of September 19th, 2007, you can no longer dial 767-2676 to find out to the second what time it is. No more, "At the tone the time will be....."


I am....distraught....surprised....confused....disheartened....how will I know if I have the right time? Who will I call to make sure it is accurate? And why!?! Why did they discontinue time?

What does it mean?


If you have answers to any of these questions I would surely like to hear them....I really am at a loss.


What time is it anyway?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Blips On My Radar Screen

I have a confession to make. My life is not perfect.

That probably doesn't come as any big surprise, few, if any of us lead perfect lives. (And if you do, I really don't want to hear about it.)

I've alluded to the fact in past posts that this year has been one that could safely be characterized as a bit of an on-going trial. The trial, in and of itself is not horrendous. There was no awful event that set it off. It has been more in the nature of small events (barely blips on the radar screen of life) that are challenging me to walk faithfully in the footsteps of my Lord. Events that ask me if I trust Him to work things out for the best.

So, that is the big question. Do I trust my Savior? The One who created me, bled and died for me, forgives me and loves me unconditionally?

Well , when I ask myself the question like that (and I frequently do), the answer is yes. But if I just stare at the circumstance in front of me, instead of being the mole hill that it is, it becomes a huge mountain and it's easy to think, "no."

I am a big picture sort of gal. I like to know all that is going on. I like to know what my destination is. I like to anticipate pitfalls that I might trip over, mountains that might require extra equipment. But sometimes that is not what God gives me. He doesn't always give me the big picture. He just shows me the next step and tells me, "Don't worry, I can see the big picture and that is all that is necessary." So it comes down to trust. Do I trust my Savior?

Yes.

Even when I get overwhelmed by my immediate mole hill. Even when I don't know the big picture. Because I serve a big God. A God who loves me and is more than worthy of all my trust, love, honor, devotion and praise. And He cares about the blips on my radar screen.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

WFMW - The "I Have A Headache and the Cupboards Are Bare" Dinner



Time for Works for me Wednesday again and Shannon challenged us with this, "It's 5:15pm, the kids are hungry, you have a headache, hubby is almost home, and the pantry has three things in it. What is you BEST last-minute meal recipe?"

Well if you read my last post you know that at least one of my children isn't all that hungry and wouldn't have anything to do with what was left in the pantry unless it was cheese or sugar. But the other one does get hungry and so does Husband.

I usually have some variation of the following lurking in my pantry and frig so this is my answer to the above question. Yeah, I know it's more than three ingredients but if all you have is chicken, noodles (any kind) and broth it still works and fills those hungry tummies. Any kind of vegie frozen or fresh will work too. I also use this one in my crock pot on days when I have to leave early and won't be home until 5:15 (headache or not).



CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP


2 frozen boneless-skinless chicken breasts

3/4 Cup sliced carrots

3/4 Cup chopped celery

1/2 Cup chopped onion (I like to use the frozen, already chopped kind)

1/2 -16oz. package of egg noodles cooked (set aside in ziploc bag and refrigerate)

4 Cups chicken broth

2 Cups water

1 packet of dry chicken gravy mix

salt and pepper to taste


Put all ingredients except noodles in large pot on the stove and turn it on. When ready to serve take out chicken breasts and cut up. Return chicken to pot and add noodles. YUMMY!

If I have the ingredients I will also whip up a batch of biscuits to go with the soup. This is a remarkably simple meal and very satisfying.

Be sure to join me for The Cookie (Recipe) Exchange carnival that I'm hosting here on December 14th. Click here for more info. And don't forget to visit Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer for more great last minute recipes!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I Live With A Picky Eater

I was flipping through Woman's Day today and caught this piece of little known trivia at the bottom of a page:

  • DID YOU KNOW...About 20 percent of people eat a diet composed entirely of just 10 or fewer foods.

It was obvious to me they had met my beautiful but food challenged Daughter. Her diet consists of the following (in small quantities):

  • Cinnamon Graham Crackers
  • Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
  • Top Ramen
  • Oranges
  • Cheese
  • Chocolate/Candy
  • Cheese Crackers
  • Milk
  • Juice

Now since she is but six years old, I do force feed her other foods like meat and vegetables, but left to herself that is what she would eat.

I worry.

Well wouldn't you worry too if that was all your child ate?

My pediatrician assures me that she will not starve to death and that many kids eat this way. I'm not so sure. I have several friends whose children will gladly eat anything put in front of them. One friend has trouble getting hers to quit eating.

Sigh....such is not my fate apparently.

She probably will not starve to death. She has been known to eat broccoli and chicken of her own free will on occasion.

Just the same...

Monday, December 3, 2007

A Few Of My Favorite Things

Okay...the first thing I want to say is that I'm having a very hard time getting these photos to be where I want them to be....



Having said that, (and since it made me feel better), I would like to share a couple of my favorite Christmas decorations with you. I have more, but considering the difficulty just getting these two pictures to post I think I'll save the rest for later posts.

The picture above is of my Mom's vintage Woolworth's papier mache Nativity Scene. She bought it in the mid to late 1960's. It has a few little dings and Joseph lost his walking stick somewhere along the way but otherwise they are in remarkably good condition. You'll notice there are only representatives of the shepherd and wise man contingents. Since my Dad was in seminary in the mid to late 1960's that was all she could afford. Mom now has a lovely porcelein Nativity Set but I am glad that she let me have this set. It brings back so many wonderful Christmas memories.

The Nativity Set below is also a gift from my Mom and I do have all three wise men, another shepherd, a camel and several sheep that didn't make it into the picture. She has been giving it to me in smaller sets over the last three or four years.

It is from the Willow Tree Collection by Susan Lordi. I love the simplicity of this design. It feels very soft and gentle. It is the one Christmas decoration I usually leave up well into February each year. It reminds me that the gift of our Heavenly Father is so precious and needs to be remembered each day.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sunday Psalm - Advent Edition

The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned....
For to us a Child is born,
to us a Son is given,
and the government will be on His shoulders.
And He will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
~Isaiah 9:2-6

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Cookie (Recipe) Exchange is Here!


Thank you so much for coming to my little party! I hope you all enjoy yourselves. There should be some very yummy cookie recipes and some great stories. As you look around be sure to leave some comments (because really, don't they just make your day?). You might also want to stop by more than once as this is a bit of an open house sort of party, and you never know when folks are going to show up.

So get yourself a cup of coffee or tea and pull up a chair. It's time for the good stuff!

Here are two of my favorite cookie/candy recipes. The first one is for Coconut Bon Bons. This recipe was given to me when I was but a blushing bride. We had recently moved to the area we live now and had no family or friends within five hours of us. I was a little lonely (although not too much because, remember, I was a new bride) and had asked God to send a friend into my life who might be a sort of mentor to me. He was faithful to answer and sent along a woman a little older than myself with four beautiful children and a love for homemaking. That first Christmas season she invited me over to help with her baking, which I was more than happy to do. This was one of the treats she made that day. She sent me home with some of the goodies and the recipe which I have faithfully made every year since.


Coconut Bon Bons

1 large bag of Angel Flake Coconut
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 - 2lb. bag of powdered sugar
1 Cup of margarine
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 Cups of chocolate chips ( I use Nestle Semi-Sweet)
1/3 cube of kitchen parafin (The kind used for sealing jelly sometimes. It can usually be found where canning supplies are in your grocery store.)
In a large mixer, cream together milk and margarine. Add vanilla and coconut. Now slowly add powdered sugar (This can be tedious and messy, I frequently end up mixing in the last of the powdered sugar by hand.) When thoroughly mixed together, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.
The next day cover some cookie sheets with wax or parchment paper. Form coconut mixture into small walnut sized balls and place on cookie sheets. When finished filling a cookie sheet cover and put back into the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours.
Next comes the dipping. In a double boiler put chocolate chips and parafin. Heat until melted. Prepare surface next to stove top by laying foil or wax paper down. (I use foil.) Now it's time to dip the coconut balls. Plop them gently in the melted chocolate one at a time and use a dinner fork to lift them out and put them on your prepared surface. Allow the bon bons to cool and firm up for several hours. When they are firm, enjoy! Give to your friends to enjoy because this recipe makes about 120 of them!




And my favorite cookies. Snickerdoodles. I know they aren't really, necesarily considered Christmas cookies. But I make them at Christmastime every year and they do have that obligitory Christmas ingredient...cinnamon. They also contain that exotic ingredient that I don't use for anything else except biscuits...Cream of Tartar.
These are the first cookies I remember making with my Mom. That's why they are special to me. I remember being so excited when she got out her Betty Crocker Good - n - Easy Cookbook and said, "Let's make some cookies!" These are what we made and this is the recipe from that book.
Snickerdoodles
1 Cup vegetable shortening (I have modified and half of this is butter, the real stuff)
1 1/2 Cup sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 Cup flour
2 tsp Cream of Tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
In large mixing bowl cream together shortening/butter and sugar. Add eggs. In smaller bowl mix together dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet until dough is formed.
Mix together 3 Tablespoons of sugar and 3 Tablespoons of cinnamon in a shallow bowl.
Using a tea spoon (as in a spoon you stir your tea with), scoop out portions of dough and form into walnut sized balls. Roll balls in sugar/cinnamon mixture and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake in oven for 8 - 10 minutes. (If you have Airbake cookie sheets like I do, it's more like 11 - 12 minutes.) Remove cookies to a rack or paper towels to cool. Enjoy. Makes approximately 5 dozen cookies.


Just stopped by and want to join all this cookie fun? Then go ahead and link up with Mr. Linky below. Please remember to use your permalink, leave a little comment next to your name letting us know what you have baking and link yourself back over here.


Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed the goodies and the stories.





A Cookie (Recipe) Exchange



I got to thinking about cookie exchanges the other day. I've only participated in one real one and I can't even remember when that was exactly but I do remember that it was a lot of fun.


I liked it not only because I got to take home lots of yummy cookies that I didn't have to make, but I also got to hear some of the stories behind the recipes. I think I enjoyed the stories the most.


So I got to wondering if I could host a bloggy cookie exchange. Then I thought, "Why not?" And now I'm doing it. My idea is that anyone who would like to participate will share a recipe(or two) of their favorite Christmas cookie or candy and a story about it. The story can be about how you got the recipe, why you like it so much, something funny that happened while making it...well you get the idea.


On December 14th (mark that on your calendars!) I will put Mr. Linky in place. Write a post on your blog with your recipe and story. Come back over and add your post to Mr. Linky.


A couple of requests as you link:


  1. Link to your recipe post and not to the front page of your blog. This makes browsing a snap.

  2. When you enter your name on Mr. Linky include a short (3-4 word) description in parentheses.

  3. Tell your friends! I love cookies and I love stories and I know there must be lots and lots of them out there to be shared.

I have an banner/button and you can copy that from above on the right. I wish I could say for sure that it can be used as a button but I'm a real newby at buttons and I'm not sure if it will or not (my tech adviser is currently Down Under). I think that if you follow instructions here that it will work. Just in case it doesn't please link to my blog in your post so that everyone can enjoy cookies and stories.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Walking Down Memory Lane

I tend to get nostalgic this time of year. It's really kind of pathetic. I've been known to mist up when I hear the first measure of Carol of the Bells waiting at the check-out in W*l-M*rt.


The picture above is of me and my Mom, Christmas 1966. Isn't she beautiful? And don't you just want to pinch my cheeks? She's looking out of my Grandparents three, huge plate glass windows. There is more than likely snow outside (the house is in Wisconsin). The windows looked out into their huge backyard which backed up on their own private woods. I have never asked my Mom if she remembers what she was looking at in this picture, but I remember seeing bright red Cardinals out those windows in the winter.


My Grandfather built that house with his own hands and took a lot of good natured ribbing for building a slab foundation house with three huge plate glass windows in the middle of Wisconsin. He put those windows in for my Grandmother. She loved to watch the birds and wildlife out of them. He also built her a special sunroom to keep extra, especially warm in during the winter months. You can see it in the background of the picture below.
That's my Grandma by the way. She had the merriest eyes and cutest little giggle you can imagine.
There are many, many more memories I have of my Grandparents and their home. They are both gone now and I do miss them. But I love wallowing in my memories every once in awhile. This time of year seems to be appropriate what with another year closing and a new one beginning.
Thanks for sharing my memories with me today. Incidentally, my livingroom has three big plate glass windows.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

WFMW - Keeping Your Knives Sharp

I am writing this one for my Husband. For seventeen years he has tried to teach me how to take care of my knives so that they will stay sharp. I think I have finally got it.

A week before Thanksgiving I took all our knives to our local supermarket where, for free, they sharpen knives. (Check at the meat department of your supermarket to see if they provide this service.) The next day I went and picked them up. Oh my! The delight of chopping my vegetables with a really sharp knife! Cutting a slice of cheese is a dream!

I had thought my knives were a decently sharp, but oh, I was so wrong. I remarked to Husband how nice it was to cut with sharp knives. He stopped, looked me straight in the eye and said, "If you take care of them like I've told you, they will stay that way."

So what is it that Husband has been telling me all these years and I am now religiously adhearing to?

Just two important things:

1- NEVER (and he means NEVER) wash your good cutting knives in the dishwasher, this includes steak knives.

2- Wash, dry and put away knives immediatly after use.

What makes a knife dull quickly is leaving food or water on the knife.This causes the delicate edge to rust and brush off when it is finally washed. These rules also apply to potato peelers, pizza cutters, apple peeler/corer/slicers and hand held apple slicers. Any kitchen device that has an edge for cutting will benefit from proper care.

So now Husband knows I finally know how to take care of my knives!

For more great tips be sure to visit Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Keeping It Simple

So our ancient, low flow toilet is out of service. The flapper thing that regulates the flush is broken. I'm hoping they still make parts for the thing...the last thing we want to buy for Christmas is a toilet...thankyouverymuch!

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We got some of our shopping done on-line last night. Husband loves REI and Cabela's and he could spend hours making a decision at one of those sights. Thankfully we found what we were looking for, on sale and were able to make a purchase in a reasonable amount of time. We did end up paying for shipping (REI isn't offering free shipping :<), but we bought five gifts for five different people for under fifty dollars and the shipping was only $5.99 so I don't feel too bad about it.
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I served some crunchy beans again last night. Husband pleaded that I find a bean guru and figure out how to make some beans that aren't crunchy.
I must explain that the reason I keep trying to cook using dry beans is to save money in our grocery budget and still serve healthy food. Sigh. Sometimes being a domestic goddess isn't all it's cracked up to be.
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On the up side, we had a family game night last night. Several rounds of Uno made up for the lousy beans. I have a very forgiving family.
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Well, that's about as exciting as our Mondays get around here. I have to admit, I like it that way. When I was a sweet young thing I would have found it exceedingly boring but as I get...ahem...more mature I am coming to appreciate the ordinary things in life.
Just keeping it simple Sam!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Christmas Focus

The turkey is nearly forgotten but the fellowship with family still lingers in the air. My Christmas tree is up and decorated as is the rest of the house. I really had no intention of getting my decorating done this early but Husband gently and wisely nudged me to do it.

There is still shopping to do but I think I am going to try and do most of it on-line and since the budget is very tight this year there really isn't much to do.

I'm debating about whether to send cards or not. I hope I don't sound scroogy. I have noticed in the past few years that we don't receive as many as we used to. I did a little mental math the other day and figured if I made my own postcards, for forty or fifty cards it is still around forty dollars. I can reduce that by recycling old cards but postage still makes it a chunk of change. Sigh. It's not like I don't want to send cards, it's just an expense I'm not sure we should incure this year. Would you be offended at not receiving a card from a friend or relative one year?

I will do a little holiday baking this year but I am not going overboard as I have done in past years. I will make a double batch of bonbons I've become famous with friends and family for and a batch of sugar cut-outs for the kiddos to decorate but that's where that ends.

Are you noticing a theme in my holiday to-do list? I'm downsizing. There have been years when I have practically killed myself trying to do every little holiday tradition ever thought of. And you know what? It didn't make for a very merry or a very meaningful Christmas. I was left feeling empty and exhausted and a little grinchy.

This year my goal is simplicity and a focus on the Savior. It's easy to give lip service to Him this time of year by saying things like, "Jesus is the reason for the season," or "Let's remember He is the true meaning of Christmas," and then go kill ourselves trying to make Christmas look and feel like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting.

Don't misunderstand me. I love having all my decorations out and listening to Christmas carols until my kids scream for something else or Husband just changes every CD in the stereo himself. I watch White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story not to mention all the Rankin/Bass Christmas specials and A Charlie Brown Christmas every year without fail. But they are distractions. They distract from Jesus.

It is my desire and goal this season to reflect daily on the priceless gift of my Heavenly Father daily. To reflect on how much He loves this world in spite of all the ugliness and sin that pervade it. He loves it so much He sent His one and only Son to live here among us, as one of us. Jesus knows what it is like to be hungry, frustrated, tired, angry, and happy. He lived as one of us yet did it perfectly. And then gave His life to cover all our sin and imperfection. He came to earth with that goal in mind. To save us from sin and ourselves.

That is where I am at this Christmas season. I'm trying to keep it simple. I'm downsizing. I'm focusing on Jesus.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday Psalm

LORD, You have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.
Before the mountains were born or You brought forth the earth
and the world, from everlasting to everlasting
You are God.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD,
"He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God,
in whom I trust."
Psalm 90:1-2 & Psalm 91:1-2

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

WFMW - Cleaning Your Blow Dryer


Okay, so I was not going to post, then I was, then I wasn't and now I am! I have a ton of things to do today as I am sure does everyone, but I want to share my latest little cleaning epiphany with you. For more great tips be sure to head over to Shannon's at Rocks In My Dryer.


So I have blown out more blow dryers recently than I care to admit to and it's not because I use them in any weird way either. ( I don't know what a weird way would be and let's not go there.) I think it's because I buy the cheap ones and they make them to blow out after about six months use.


ANYWAY....I have found I can get a little more time out of them if I keep their screens free of lint. Now that is not always an easy task. I have been known to stand in my bathroom with my tweezers picking the lint out of the screens for hours on end. Not exactly a highly productive use of my time. After awhile I would feel like an idiot and give it up. Not soon after the blow dryer usually dies.


After I bought my latest dryer I decided that this was not going to happen again. Then I noticed the lint accumulating on the screens and knew I had to figure out a more effective way of cleaning them. LIGHT BULB! The vacuum cleaner!


That's right, pull out your vacuum cleaner and hook up that hose attachment with the dust brushy thing attached to the end. Now turn it on and start brushing away at those lint screens. Wallah! You have saved your blow dryer from an untimely demise.


Yes I know this is not exactly going to save the world but it made me a lot happier. I hope it will make you happy too, because we all know that a clean blow dryer is a happy blow dryer! :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pray For Me

Pray for me today, I'm doing my Thanksgiving shopping. For me that means a drive of an hour in order to get to the discount grocery store. We have a very expensive lovely store here in the town we live in but it's not so lovely on my grocery budget. So the kids and I are trooping off as soon as things thaw out a little. Brother is very excited because we are not only going to Target but we'll have lunch in the food court at the mall. (You must read into this access to video games.)

I am not so excited. I envision bumper to bumper shopping carts, missing ingredients and spending more money than I want to. (Also a battle of the "I wants"...go here to read some wonderful thoughts on this.)

On the up side, it's time with my kids. I like taking them out to lunch. I don't know why, but I do. We have fun watching people and commenting on their apparel, (or in the summer, lack thereof). There is also a treat from Starbuck's if I'm a good girl. (Hee, hee!)

I will also have a chance to go into a shoe store to hopefully find a pair of cute little ballet flats in my size. I have small feet, and they rarely have shoes I like in my size. Oh to be a size 7...sigh.

Anyway, if you think of it, pray for me today...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Changes, Changes, Changes

In a former life I was a Graphic Designer. That was some...ahem...twenty years ago. Computer graphics was still in it's infancy and so I was mainly trained in old origination and print techniques. No one had heard of the world wide web and blogging...what was that? There was hardly any going to a computer to generate type. You went to a typesetter. Computers were for data and maybe some word processing.

And then life took a new and different turn in which I moved away from the cutting edge of Graphic Design and into the world of handmade crafts and tole painting. Anything "manufactured" or computer generated was abhorant.

After the craft world came the kiddos...a whole new world of creativity and sleepless nights!

Now here I sit with the desire to design my own blog and none of the tools I need. Actually I am in the process of acquiring some of those tools but it is taking a little longer than I want. Sigh.

So what am I getting at here? Well, in case you hadn't noticed I changed the template for my blog. Currently my only options are what Blogger has available. But you just wait until I have the tools to really make some changes! In the meanwhile, don't be surprised if you come to my blog one day and it looks totally different from the day before or something is just a little wonky. I hope that this won't keep you from reading it though. I do have some ideas rolling around in my head and when I can finally execute them things won't be changing.

I think...well I hope not...well maybe....you know us creative types.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday Psalm

So, Husband and I were talking about my purpose in blogging yesterday morning. We like to have these deep philosophical discussions on Saturday mornings after watching Good Morning America.

He asked me why I blogged....that's a very long answer which I gave him but I'm not going to get into, in depth, here. Suffice it to say that my main purpose in blogging is to point to Jesus. Sometimes specifically, sometimes just through the story of my life.

Today I am going to be specific...in fact I'm going to be specific like this every Sunday that I possibly can. It is the
first day of the week and as such I want all glory and honor to go to God. I'll be posting some kind of scripture every Sunday, whatever the Lord leads me to. I hope you will be blessed by it.

So with out further adoo here is my first Sunday Psalm.

Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you. Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my cry for mercy. In the day of my trouble I will call to you, for you will answer me.
Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.
Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.
The arrogant are attacking me, O God; a band of ruthless men seeks my life - men without regard for you.
But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Turn to me and have mercy on me; grant your strength to your servant and save the son of you maidservant. Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.
~Psalm 87
(NIV)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Gobble-Gobble Some Good Stuff


I'm really thankful for carnivals because it gives me something to write about without having to think too hard. Karla over Looking towards Heaven is hosting Gobble-Gobble a Thanksgiving menu/recipe carnival. Be sure to go over and check out all the wonderful recipes.


As for me...I do have my menu written out but have yet to do the shopping. Except for the turkey, that was on sale at our local supermarket so I do have that. I'm sure it looks a lot like other menus... what I like is seeing the different recipes that people use especially the stuffing and mashed potatoes. Starred items have their recipes below.


The Turkey
Stuffing *
Cranberry Jelly
Cranberry Compote
Jello Salad
Rolls
Mashed Potatoes*
Green Bean Casserole
Gravy
Pumpkin Pie
Apple Pie
Whipped Cream
Cran-Apple Sparkling Cider
Coffee
Tea


I know your first though might be, "A recipe for mashed potatoes, are you kidding me?" No I'm not kidding. There is nothing I hate more than bland, watery potatoes. So here is my recipe.


Medium Sized Red Potatoes (one potato per person)

Chicken Broth to cover potatoes

1 tsp Garlic Salt

1/4 Cup Half-n-Half

1/4 to 1/2 Cup Butter (the real stuff)

Salt and Pepper to taste


Peel and cut up potatoes into one inch chunks. Boil potatoes in chicken broth and garlic salt until soft. Drain well and let sit for approximately five minutes before mashing.

To mash get out your electric mixer and put on your regular mixing blades. Manually mash potatoes once over and then use mixer adding butter and Half-n-Half until butter is melted and potatoes are nice and fluffy. Add salt and pepper and give it one last stir with mixer. Serve and enjoy!


Next is my families stuffing recipe. It is an almost homemade stuffing and yes we do put it in the bird. We don't stuff our bird until we are ready to put the bird in the oven. (Do not pre-stuff your bird the night before as the stuffing will become a breeding ground for unwanted bacterial guests.) We always have more stuffing than we can fit in the bird and bake the rest in a casserole. We are roasting a 20 lb bird this year so this is a recipe for that size bird. Ingredient amounts can be adjusted with help from the package directions.


Mrs. Cubbison's Dressing Seasoned 4 - 6 oz. bags (or two boxes)

2 Cups chopped celerey

2 Cups chopped onion

2 Gala apples - chopped

2 Cups of sliced fresh mushrooms

1 1/2 Cups raisins

2 Cups of Butter melted

2 Cups of chicken broth


Mix all ingredients together adding liquid ingredients last. Salt the cavity of the turkey and stuff both ends. I like to pack it well but not tight. We use a roasting bag for our bird and use the roasting directions from that. Place leftover dressing in a greased casserole, cover and bake during the last 45 minutes of the roasting time. I like to add a little extra broth to the casserole stuffing so that it is nice and moist. Yummy!


Thank you for coming by and letting me share some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes with you. I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving. And remember to thank the One who provides us with such bounty and who gave us the gift of His Son.



Thursday, November 15, 2007

Three Things You Shouldn't Try To Do When You're Tired

1 - Write an e-mail with your husband

2 - Try to post on your blog

3 - Balance your checkbook

YAAWWWN.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

WFMW - Turkey Tip

I can't really claim that I thought this one up all on my own. I actually got it from my cooking magazine but I did test it out recently and it really did help.

So I always use the roasting bags when I do my turkey at Thanksgiving and even though they tell you to put flour in the bottom of the bag to keep the bird from sticking to the bag it never really works all that well. Someone has to hold the bird up (usually a good 20lb. bird) while someone else peels the bag off the bottom of the bird. Just a little challenging.

The tip in my magazine was to put celery stalks under the bird while it is roasting. How clever thought me! But I wanted to try it out first on a chicken. So I did and I am happy to report it really works.

So we will be putting celery under our turkey while it roasts and we will not have to peel the bag off the bottom!

For more great tips head over to
Rocks In My Dryer.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Beans and Rice

So I've always wondered what it would be like to have more children. The last couple of days I had the opportunity to find out. Husband and I have been taking care of some friends children while they are on a short trip. Two children to be exact. So I've found out what it's like to have four children this week.

It's been rainy in our neck of the woods. Playing inside is the only option.

It can be loud.

Cooking has been a challenge...actually knowing how much to cook and what to cook for kids not used to how we eat. Of course, last night of all nights, I decided to prepare a new recipe. It was a bean and rice recipe and after all day soaking (according to the directions) and cooking in the oven for two hours the beans were still crunchy. Before serving Husband gave it a taste and pronounced it awful. Time for plan B.

Plan B was spaghetti. Guess who had no spaghetti sauce and no ingredients for making any. Yep, that would be me. Had I actually planned to serve this meal at some point? Yep. Had I remembered to buy the spaghetti sauce? Nope.

Did I mention I love Husband who immediatly grabbed his keys and jacket and headed to the store for the missing ingredients? Meanwhile I scurried around frantically thawing meat in the microwave (that never works like it's supposed to) and boiling water for the spaghetti noodles which I did have.

Finally, sometime around 7pm we sat down to dinner. The kids were very good natured about the whole thing. Actually I think they looked visibly relieved that they were not eating beans and rice. Husband stated he was relieved to not be eating it and suggested I contact my bean guru for help.

I don't have a bean guru.

If you are a bean guru and have any tips on soaking beans I would be grateful.

The kids have gotten along great though. We were even able to do school today (they are also homeschoolers). I was a bit challenged though when trying to explain the distributive property to Brother and our little friend was asking for help with his Exploding the Code work. Multi-tasking is one thing...multi-thinking is something else altogether.

So, while it has been a pretty easy couple of days around here, my hat is off to Mom's and Dad's out there of more than two children.

Huzzah!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Just Go With It

I would like to say thank you to our Veterans out there who have given their time and their lives so that I can enjoy freedom of speech, freedom to worship as I choose, freedom to educate my children as my husband and I see fit and the miriad of other freedoms that we all too often take for granted but were fought for with a price.

*********************************************

So I had this blog all thought out about how my son is getting older and it's all happening so fast, etc., etc. Maybe I'll blog about it soon but as nothing, and I mean nothing, in my day has gone according to plan I thought I would just go with it. God has shown me something very important today, actually a couple of things.

1 - "We make our plans and God laughs." I don't think He laughs maliciously, I imagine it as more of a loving chuckle. A chuckle and then He says, "Yes dear one, I know that's what you want to do today but I need this to happen today to teach you, to show you I love you, so that you can show someone else love so that I can grow you up and closer to Me and My image."

2 - Prayer should be the first move not the only option left. Of all the scripture I read this morning this is the verse that hit home for me today, "I tested you at the waters of Meribah." (Psalm 81:7b NIV) I had to go back and look up what happened at Meribah. It was the one of the first times the Israelites complained to God about being brought out into the desert to die because there was no water for the people. Moses went to God about what to do and God told Moses to strike the rock and water would flow. (Exodus 17:1 -7)

My notes in my Bible for this portion of scripture say this, "Again the people compained about their problem instead of praying. Some problems can be solved by careful thought or by rearranging our priorities. Some can be solved by discussion and good counsel. But some problems can be solved only by prayer. We should make a determined effort to pray when we feel like complaining, because complaining only raises our level of stress. Prayer quiets our thoughts and emotions and prepares us to listen."*

3 - We need to have our brothers and sisters in Christ to help carry our burdens. "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2) I'm so thankful for my sister in Christ that God sent to my house today to help me bear a burden and then take it to the Lord in prayer.

I'm so thankful for today, for the way God changed it and brought blessing and fulfillment to me. Sometimes it's good to just "go with it".

*I use the Life Application Bible, New King James Version, Tyndale House Publishers (c) 1996

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Froggy Who's Bloggy

I have a little notebook to write down thoughts I want to blog about. I call it my Bloggy Thoughts book. Husband wanted to know where the term "blog" derived from. So I explained it to him. You know, shortened form of web-log and all that. He mused for a moment then came out with this pithy quip, "Bloggy,... sounds like Kermit had too much to drink."

Ribbit.

Friday, November 9, 2007

In Search Of...

As a mother it is difficult to have a complete thought. I've been trying for days now to have one and I am invariably interrupted by Brother, or Sister, or Husband, Kitty, or the dog, or the phone, or, or, or....you name it, it interrupts.

It is hard to write blog posts when you can't have a complete thought. I have lots of ideas for posts but that's about as far as they get. Ideas. Why? Can't finish a thought.

I am currently sitting here staring off into space (sort of) trying to think of something wise and pithy to say and every time I get close...poof...it's interrupted. Sister wants to know if her piano playing is faster than a racehorse, or Brother needs to be reminded (again) to go take a shower, and now Sister wants to know when Thanksgiving is and when everbody is coming. The dog and Husband are at work so that can't interrupt this morning. But I'll bet before I'm done with this, Kitty will want to be let outside and thirty seconds later let back in.

Sigh.

I know there is a complete thought in my brain somewhere...and it's just dieing to be let out!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

WFMW-In Search of Thanksgiving Place Cards




It's Wednesday and once again Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer is hosting Works For Me Wednesday. Only difference today is that it's backward! I'm asking for an idea...or at least a clue! (Check out more on this at Shannon's site.)



So what I'm wondering is if anyone has come up with a really cute place card for the Thanksgiving table? I've got the whole gang coming to my house this year and because of space issues need to seat smaller people in certain areas...hence the need for place cards. We've done the picture of the person decorated as a turkey, pilgrim, cranberry, pumpkin pie, etc., etc., etc., before. I'm looking for something different.



Let me know your ideas! I know there are a ton of them out there!


Thanks for your help and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Priorities

Yet I am always with You; You hold me by me right hand. You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from You will perish; You destroy all who are unfaithful to You. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all Your deeds.

Psalm 73:23-28


I like blogging. I mean I really enjoy reading all the neat blogs out there AND writing my own. BUT, I've been putting it before my time with God. I don't sense that God is telling me to quit blogging...just that I need to put Him first. The first fruits of my day need to go to Him, then I can blog later in my day.


This will require some discipline on my part. Lately, the first thing I do is make the coffee then head over to the computer to check my e-mail and my blogs. What I intend to just spend a few minutes on ends up taking an hour or more. By then the kids are up and it's time to get dressed and start our school day. Result...no time with my Lord.


But He has been so gentle with me. He just keeps gently leading me to scripture and using a friend to remind me that my time with Him needs to come first.



Honestly, unless I have time with Him each day I am not a very patient or gracious person. I'm far too apt to let the little things get to me and before I know it I'm yelling at the kids and kicking the dog. ( Okay, for you animal lovers out there, I don't really kick the dog.)


So this morning, I stayed away from the computer, had breakfast and did my devotions first. It is my desire to do this every morning. It will require prayer and discipline to do it. My desire is for Him and I long to obey His call.

Friday, November 2, 2007

A Little Piece of Quiet

I remember this delightful little book called "A Little Peace of Quiet" about an elephant mama trying to find a little time for herself soaking in a hot tub. I haven't been able to find it but I love the title because of it's play on words and because it reflects what we all as busy mothers are craving...a little piece(peace) of quiet.

Yesterday, I told the kids to carry on with their normal morning routine, I was going in to my room to read my Bible and have some quiet time. I would like to mention that, on the whole, they are very respectful of my devotional time but yesterday there were a few interruptions. They were brief, but interruptions none the less.

The humorous part was what the Lord was speaking to me about.

You see, I had been neglecting my time with the Lord in the last few days because I had been a little overly focused on reading blogs. My heavenly Father ever so gently showed me by the example of His Son, what is most important and what He wants most from me. I love how He coordinates my daily scripture reading with my devotional to make His point.

Here is the scripture used for my devotional reading from Our Daily Bread on October 31st, "Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while." For there were many coming and going, and they did not have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves. (Mark 6:31-32)

Then from my daily reading in my One Year Bible for March 31st (don't ask, that's just where I am), When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then He took them with Him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida. (Luke 9:10)
And then again from my devotional reading, And when He had sent the away, He departed to the mountain to pray. (Mark 6:46).

The question raised in the devotional was this, "How often do I travel the quiet road with Jesus? Do I exit the fast lane of my responsibilities and concerns to focus my attention on Him for a time each day?"*

Such a good question. Do I do that? Am I making my time with Him a priority? Or (in my case) am I sitting down to my computer first thing in the morning and using up all my available time with Him?

What God was showing me was that His Son, Jesus Christ did exit the fast lane to get away to be near to the heart of His Father. He got alone with His Father, not to neglect His responsibilities, but to be prepared to meet them. And He encouraged His disciples to do the same.
I too often get too focused on the responsibilities and neglect my time with my father in heaven. It is not irresponsible when I take time to be alone with Him. It is, in fact, the only way to meet my responsiblities with the grace, wisdom, and patience they need to be met with. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
There is a place of quiet rest,
Near to the heart of God;
A place where sin cannot molest,
Near to the heart of God.
~McAfee
*Our Daily Bread, David McCasland, October 31, 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

WFMW - Cleaning My Lampshades

Hello, and welcome to my blog! This is my first Works For Me Wednesday and I hope that this little (and I do mean little) tip will be helpful to you. For more great tips check out Rocks In My Dryer ,hosted by Shannon. Now here it is...my tip.


The humble lint remover....I've used it for years to get pet hair off of my black pants (what is it about pet hair and black pants?). Then one day it occured to me I could use it to clean my lampshades. This is probably not a revelation to most of you out there but I was thrilled when I figured it out! I also found that I could use it on my bedspread/comforter, my drapes, upholstery, etc, etc. I admit that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that a lint remover can be useful on many surfaces but let's just say it took a little longer for the light to dawn on me.
I should mention that the kind of lint remover I use for these little tasks is the "reverse tape" kind made by the 3M Company.


It works for me and I hope it works for you!


Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

To Coffee or Not To Coffee


My husband had his gall bladder removed as a New Year's Eve present this last year. In fact the hospital is still sending us little notes on a monthly basis congratulating us on visiting them and requesting donations...HA!


Anyway, as a result of that we discovered he had elevated cholesterol levels and needed to make some changes in his diet. I now buy egg substitute and oatmeal in bulk from Costco, soy milk, and heart-healthy margarine. (The kids and I maintain a full on cholesterol diet.) He also decided that he needed to give up coffee and tried to convince me to do it too. We did it for awhile earlier in the year, then we were back on, recently we were back off and now we're back on again. During the first time we were back on we tried to drink only decaf. Now we are back on half caf/half decaf organic coffee. And if we go to Starbuck's or any other coffee outlet it's full on caf with the heart attack.


Our problem when we were off coffee or only drinking decaf was that we were seeking caffeine from other sources which were loaded with sugar and carbination. We decided that that was worse than the coffee and also a lot more expensive since we couldn't brew it at home. I also discovered that with the current formula of half calf/half decaf that I actually feel better. Okay, yes I know caffeine is a drug and it's little wonder I feel better on it but I do know people who simply cannot handle the stuff. I, on the other hand, do better when I have a little (notice I said little) caffeine in the morning. I usually don't have anymore for the rest of the day.


So what does this all mean? I don't know. Maybe just that it's all about moderation. When we over do anything whether it's coffee or chocolate or whatever it's going to have adverse effects. Also that there can't be a one-size fits all approach to diet. Some people can tolerate things that others can't.


The only thing that you can't overdo is time with God and worshipping Him.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Calendar Conspiracy

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that more and more day planners and desk calendars are starting the week on Monday? If you don't believe me take a moment next time you are at an office supply store or Barnes and Nobles and start checking out the calendars. They nearly all start the week on Monday. For centuries the week has started on Sunday and now all these calendar makers have decided it should start on Monday. What I want to know is why?

I know that there is a vast portion of the working public that view Monday as the beginning of the week. It is the first day back work and school, but it is NOT the first day of the week. The Lord asks us as believer's in Him to give of our first fruits. The first fruits of the week is Sunday. Jesus rose on the first day...hello Sunday! I would like to announce to the world that the first day of the week is SUNDAY!

So why can't I find a desk calendar that begins the week on Sunday? I keep looking for a Mary Engelbreit desk calendar...she hopefully will still start the week on Sunday.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Potpourri

Okay...this is our dog Chewy...and I can't figure out how to get the photo the right way so please forgive me for making you crane your neck at a weird angle. But you know it's kind of appropriate, she is the kind of dog who would make you do that anyway. She ate our weather station yesterday (so far no signs of mercury poisoning) and a giant sponge, she isn't scared of anything except the vacuum cleaner and she would happily eat the cat's food and then chase her all over the house if we let her. She's a nut but we love her. (By the way, she dragged that log she's tied to all over the beach. So much for keeping her in one place!)

I would like to publicly thank my friend Frances over at Woman of Faith for spurring me to keep on blogging. I did not realize how much I enjoy it until I hadn't done it for awhile. I love reading blogs as much as writing them. Barring any unforseen trials....I hope to keep up with my blogging from now on. And maybe even learn how to blog through a trial.

This particular entry is going to be short because I'm stealing time away from my time with God (okay now I feel guilty), and I still need to get the kids up, figure out what we're doing for school today, and figure out how to be at a piano lesson and a hair appointment at the same time. (I am NOT missing my hair appointment!)

Lastly, you have to check out this new blog Because I Said So... . I was laughing out loud with her latest enstallment! God bless this woman who can see the funny side to the little trials of everyday life and then share it with the rest of us.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Obedience



Hello everyone....thank you for patiently waiting for me to blog again. I recently had a friend e-mail me and ask if I was ever going to blog again. "Yes," I said, "I want to blog, I desire to blog, I just lack the time." In part that was true. With our little school at home starting again, keeping up with the house and various church commitments I have been hard pressed to find time to write a grocery list much less a blog. But the other part is this....

I have recently gone through a trial for which the Lord, in His graciousness, forwarned me was coming. In my May 12th devotional the Lord gave me this scripture, Do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you. - I Peter 4:12. I'm not going to get into all the details of what happened or why but I am going to tell you what I learned.

1 - Obey the Lord and do it promptly. The Lord gave me clear direction on what I needed to do. However, it was a hard thing to do and I dragged my feet on it causing much more grief than was necessary.

2 - Our calling is not always easy and not always acceptable to all around us. I am by nature a person who wants to make everyone happy. However, the Lord hasn't called me to make everyone happy. He called me to be a wife, a mother and a teacher to my own children. Earlier in the Spring God emphasized to me the passage in Titus 2:3-5, ...the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things - that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. I am glad that I am taking that passage seriously and I know that in time it will produce fruit.

3 - ...to obey is better than sacrifice (I Samuel 15:22). In our culture today we sometimes honor and revere those who sacrifice everything for their "passion". My question is what are you sacrificing? Is your "passion" really that important? Also is your "passion" what God has called you to right now, at this season in your life? God did not call me at this time to sacrifice my family, He called me to be obedient to Him and listen to the admonishment for young women given in Titus.

So, you are asking, what does all this have to do with blogging? Well, just this...I'm a finicky writer. When I'm going through something hard I don't like to write it down. And when I'm going through something hard, frankly, it's all I can think about. Hence that makes it hard to write. (It's probably a good thing I don't write for a living.)

The good thing is that there is now some space between the trial and the present time. I've had some time to reflect and put things into perspective. Now it's time to get down to the business of living out the calling the Lord has given me.

Friday, July 27, 2007

I'm Still A Blogger


This is a very quick post to let my readers know that I'm still blogging. I'm not entirely sure what I've been busy doing this summer, but I've been busy and the blog has not been a priority. Don't get me wrong...I don't have Alzheimer's or anything (LOL) but I've had a few days that I've gotten to the end of and I wasn't sure what, if anything, had been accomplished that day. Not that the usual things like getting dressed, eating and general household maintenance hadn't happened. It is just sometimes amazing how that sort of stuff can so fill a day. Well I guess that is what a summer day is all about sometimes.

Anyway, keep checking in. I do have a longer blog planned on what the Lord has been doing in me this summer. My hope is that will be an encouragement to some of you.

Blessings to you all!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Relax!


This is my cat. Her name is Kitty. Yeah, I know, not very original, but when she became a part of our family that was what was easiest for Son to say. In this picture she is lying on our bed. This is where she spends most of her time, except for occasional bursts of maniacal energy in which her pupils get VERY large and she tears around the house bent on catching whatever it is she sees. Usually it's just a piece of fluff. (Bad demon fluff!)


I would dearly love to be as relaxed as she is most of the time. I just spent the last couple of hours ordering curriculum and trying to track down a book that seems to be out of print judging from the prices it is commanding (It's running over $100. Needless to say I won't be purchasing it at that price.) My kids are irritable today because they can't go outside and play owing to very smoky conditions in our little part of the world. Two irritable children do not make for a relaxed atmosphere.


I wish I had some spiritual lesson to share with you about all this, but so far I haven't found it. Except maybe I ought to rest in the Lord, rather than letting the cares of this world get me wound up and chasing a ball of fluff. It's not the end of the world if I don't get the one book and eventually the winds will shift and the smoke will clear out....I hope. Meanwhile I think I'll go pet my cat, have a cup of decaf and settle down with a good book.