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.


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).


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
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 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?


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).


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