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.
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!

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.
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.
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.
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 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 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

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
Mashed Potatoes*
Green Bean Casserole
Pumpkin Pie
Apple Pie
Whipped Cream
Cran-Apple Sparkling Cider

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


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.


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."


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, 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'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.


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


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. 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.
*Our Daily Bread, David McCasland, October 31, 2007