Tuesday, January 29, 2008

SSSSShhhhhhhhh! Don't tell!

We started a new tradition at our house this year--and it's been soooo much fun!
We put everyone's name in a basket, and drew secret pals. Whoever you draw is the person you try to serve for the week--secretly.
It's been so nice to come in at night and find my bed turned down, pillows fluffed, and chocolate on my pillow! :0) Or to come out in the morning to find my juice glass and a fancy folded napkin at my place setting...
The goal is to not only try to bless them by serving them, but also by praying for them diligently all week long. Then on Monday, after family devotions, we reveal our pals, and choose new ones.
This has been a really fun thing - both to do and to receive! But, it's also a neat way to give an opportunity to serve.
Let me know if you do something similar, or if you decide to adopt this idea. :0)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Busy Monday!

It is very cold here in our neck of the woods--it hasn't gotten out of the 20's since Sat. And when it gets cold like that, I get the cooking bug! :0) (Am I the only one like that?)

Anyway, I have Cranberry Orange bread in the oven, Everyday bread rising on top of the stove, and pasta fagioli started on top of the stove.
(I got fresh cranberries on the clearance shelf at the store for the bread) (Instead of the bacon and the chicken broth, I used the bones from the ham we had at Christmas to make my stock in the soup)

I also plan on making Red lobster biscuits to go w/the pasta fagioli later on... (my kids and hubby love these!) Most of you who know me, know that we like to eat as healthy as we can. I use a homemade version of bisquick in the recipe.

I also am playing laundry catch up (complicated by the fact that one of my dear men left a tissue in their work pants pocket--God love 'em!).
Here are a couple of the recipes--anyone who knows me knows that I use recipes "loosely". :0) But these are the "bones" of what I made. :0)

Pasta Fagioli Soup
Serving Size : 6
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 strips bacon,coarsely chopped
1 rib celery,chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic,finely chopped
3 cans chicken broth
1 can 15-19 oz cannellini beans,undrained,mashed with -- fork
1 can 15-19 oz red kidney beans, drained
1 cup very small past shells or ditalini
salt and black pepper to taste
In large saucepan or Dutch oven,heat oil over medium heat. Add
bacon, carrot, celery, onion, and garlic, Cook 7 to 10 minutes, or
until bacon is cooked and vegetables are softened, stirring
Add chicken broth and white and red kidney beans, bring to a
boli over high heat. Add pasta and reduced heat to medium and
cook, uncovered 8 to 10 minutes or until pasta is cooked but not
mushy,stirring frequently. Taste to test tenderness. Season with
salt and pepper. Serves 6.

Cranberry Orange Tea Bread
Cranberry bread recipe, made with fresh chopped cranberries, melted butter, orange juice and zest, and chopped pecans or walnuts.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
2 cups fresh chopped cranberries
grated zest and juice if 1 orange
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg, beaten
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, nuts, and chopped cranberries. With a wooden spoon, mix until ingredients are blended. Combine the orange zest, juice, and butter with enough water to make 3/4 cup.
Beat in the egg. Pour over dry ingredients and mix just until all ingredients are dampened.
Spoon batter into a greased and floured 9x5-inch loaf pan. Bake in a preheated 350̊ oven for about 60 to 70 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on rack. Wrap airtight to store for up to 1 week, or freeze.

Red Lobster Biscuits
2 cups Bisquick. baking mix
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup cheddar cheese -- shredded
1/4 cup butter -- melted
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat oven to 450. Mix baking mix, milk and cheese until soft dough forms; beat vigorously for 30 seconds. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8-10 min. or until golden brown.
Mix butter and garlic powder; brush over warm biscuits before removing from cookie sheet. Serve warm.
Makes 10-12 biscuits.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

We have been very busy this past weekend helping our dear friends move most of their belongings from here, to their new home in Pennsylvania. Our friend has been voted in as the pastor of a small congregation, in a lovely lakeside church, on a mountain, in a town in PA about 3 1/4 hrs. from here.

We will surely miss this family so much! They have been a real blessing to us and a real encouragement to our family! From the youngest right up through the adults!

But I have to tell you that we're so excited about what God is going use them to do in this little country church. :0) We look forward to seeing His plan unfold in this new adventure. And we will be planning a trip soon to go and visit.

As for me personally, the wife of this pastor is my dear friend, and I don't know what I will do without her! She has been a lifeline for me, and a person I have shared my heart with. I will dearly miss her company--and thank the Lord for free long-distance calling! :0)

And so with both sorrow and joy, I will be lifting them daily to the Lord in prayer.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


I'm getting my wish! It is finally snowing here!

Although it isn't going to amount to a whole lot....it is at least making an appearance! They said maybe 2-3". (I wish it were 10!) :0)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I am longing for snow! My friend Marci has had her share in Ohio already...but we're gettin' skimped here in Delaware!
I am still hoping and dreaming! :0)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Organizationally Challenged!

Yes it's true! Unlike my friends Mandie, and Lisa-who are very organized....I am an organizational wannabe! :0(

I am determined though, and keep trying! LOL

Well, to prove my point, guess what I have misplaced?? No, not a piece of mail, or a book, nor a sock or article of clothing. No nothing ordinary like that--I, my friends, have misplaced....a sheep's heart! The said sheep's heart would be for my dear daughter's advanced biology class, and she and her friend were to dissect it today, only to find it wasn't where I usually keep such things... (we also have a brain, and a fetal pig--which are both there where they are supposed to be!) LOL And so, I have spent the better part of my day trying fruitlessly to track it down.

Anyway, if you come across an extra sheep or cow's heart--keep me in mind! I'm short one!

Ah, the homeschool life!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Click on their link to the right here on my blog to order.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

God Never Changes

We all know that things never stay the same. All around us is constant change--every day!
From the big things like seasons...of course in DE right now, that seems to change from day to day! One day near 70, and the next 40's! :0) Thanksgiving and Christmas come and go, then New Year's.
And then there are other things; friends move away, a church change, sometimes job changes, or neighbors. Our kids change-they grow, even eventually grow up and move away and start their own lives.
And, in the stage of life I'm in, my very emotions are on a roller coaster. So that changes - even during a single day!
These things all make me so thankful for the One Who doesn't change! I am so glad that God is our "center". He isn't prone to emotions, He doesn't change with circumstances.... He is solid and unchanging! What an exciting, wonderful thing that we can count on Him to be unchanging!
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Malachi 3:6For I am the LORD, I change not...

And so I encourage you today, that if life feels overwhelming with change-don't despair! God is our anchor. He never changes! He promised! Hold fast to Him! He is our security. He is faithful!
The lyrics to this hymn come to mind:

Great is thy faithfulness
Oh God my father
There is no shadow of turning with thee
Thou changest not
Thy compassions they fail not
As thou hast been
Thou forever will be

Summer and Winter
Springtime and harvest
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join in all nature in manifold witness
To thy great faithfulness
Mercy and love

Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness
Lord unto me

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide
Your strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside

Thomas Chisholm

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

( Click to enlarge so you can read the print!)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

An Addition to my Ordinary Days post!

This says it all! :0) I'm adding this to my Ordinary Days thoughts. :0)

The Old, and the New

At our house, we don't really make New Year's Resolutions...

So, I thought I'd fill you in on what we do on New Year's Day.
First we have a nice dinner-my mom usually comes over for this. She usually leaves after dinner as she doesn't like to drive in the dark anymore,.
Then, we gather around with the sheets I have given everyone to fill out and put their own answers on.
I first read a list of Highlights that our family experienced in the previous (old) year. (I compile this on my computer as things happen)

Here's a few from this year's list: Brad (my son) bought a truck, Briana (my daughter) got her braces off, we started attending a new church, we went to New York City, we had a Backyard Bible Club to evangelize our neighborhood....

This is always fun because there are always some things that we've forgotten that happened during the year, and it's fun to be reminded!
Then, we go around the room-from youngest to oldest, and we read the answers to the questions on our sheets.
Some of the questions are:
Name something special that happened this year.
How have you grown closer to the Lord this year? (Or in what way?)
Name something that Daddy did that blessed you, or that you admire:

And then towards the bottom of the sheet, there is an opportunity to set goals:
List at least 3 goals for 2008, either family, or individual goals. Make at least one spiritual.

There are more things on the list--but you get the idea!

We save these sheets, and always review last years, and then go over this years.
We actually enjoy this, and it's a neat way to preserve some of our family accomplishments and history! (I save all the sheets in a notebook.)

So, instead of making resolutions, we make goals!
Here's one of mine for this year: To serve my family wholeheartedly.
I hope that I accomplish this goal! It is a Bible-requirement for my position of wife and mother!
I want to serve them w/o distraction!

And so, you have a peek into our New Year's traditions....
I'd like to hear about yours too! :0)

Have a blessed New Year.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Ordinary Days

I just realized today that we've been having just regular old ordinary days around here.
Now call me boring if you want...but I like ordinary days!

For instance, now that my kids are getting to be young adults, the last years of homeschooling are taking place. I find myself relishing these days so much!
There have been days-or months--maybe years!? LOL that hsing was just so hard and frustrating that I would say I would be glad when it's over.
But I have found that I am really enjoying it these days.

How could I regret one extra minute spent with my kids? (Even if it was trying to drill correct spelling into them--or math facts!?)

How could I regret the privilege of being the one to have morning devotions with them, and offer them spiritual training? (Even if some mornings I had to literally drag them out of bed? LOL)

How could I regret those "light bulb" moments when something we're learning really sinks in? (Even when 20 other things I taught them went in one ear and out the other! LOL)

These ordinary days are the stuff that life is made of!
That saying that "life is what happens while we're busy planning making other plans" is so true!

It's not the big vacations we take once in a while that make up the majority of our days. It's the little every day things that life is made of!
The tlc we moms show our husband and children everyday. The meals we prepare, the family nights we share with homemade pizza, the games we play, the devotions we have, and the hymn sings. It's singing Christmas carols in the car at the top of your lungs! And sharing those secret little private jokes that only your family knows about. It's being able to look at each other across the room and know what the other is thinking! (And cracking up over it)

And so, I am enjoying these ordinary days. For in a short time, they will never be the same.

I hope you're enjoying yours too!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Just click on the Vision Forum button on the lower right to order. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008