Friday, July 31, 2015

Doing What You Can

Our homes shouldn't be this everyday race to see how much we can get done.  Our homes should be lovingly restored and properly taken care of for the protection, safety, and comfort of our families. While I do have my daily, weekly, and monthly to-do lists, they are simply guidelines and reminders of what can be done.  Mostly, homemaking for me is a natural on-going ritual.  Some days it flows so very naturally and other days I do need the reminders that oh, yes, the blinds haven't been cleaned for quite a while.  Or, wow, the closets haven't been cleaned out in months.  And then, the upper shelves in the kitchen are getting pretty greasy.  I think we all need reminders of those areas that we see every day, but are areas that you actually have to set time aside in order to take care of them.  That's what's difficult for me sometimes.   I feel I need to do it all and if I don't I feel guilty.  It's just been recently where I've actually been finding myself saying "I can't do it all."  I look outside at the weeds taking over and then I look at what still needs to be done in the house and then I know that in order to cook from scratch that will take time and I almost get panicky.  But I've come to realize that doing what I can when I can is good enough.  My attitude can't be perfection because that will never happen.  I need to always ask myself - "Was what I did today in my home come out of love for my home and family, or did it come out of pride and what others might think of me?"  That answer should always be love.  : )

With that said, here is my August list of to-do's: (of which I KNOW I won't get to all of them)

*change furnace filter (easy peasy)
*declutter shelves, cabinets, and drawers (major unless you've been keeping up with it)
*flip mattress/wash bedding (another easy peasy one - well, maybe not the flipping part)
*check water heater (I'm not sure what you check, but maybe the husband knows)
*clean the grill (lots of warm weather cooking left!)
*clean outdoor garbage cans (gross, but I needed this reminder!)
*clean out garage (this will take a whole Saturday for us)
*shop for school supplies/clothes (not for us anymore but it is nice to donate items for others)
*maintain car(s) - again my husband would know more about this
*start thinking about Christmas gifts (I'm still buying things for the gift pantry)

So, there are a couple of major things on the list, but most are do-able.  : )

Have a wonderful day today.  Have a wonderful upcoming weekend.  God bless you.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Back To Work

Well, vacation time is over.  Now it's back to work.  Fortunately we came back from our vacation a few days early so we could ease into being at home again.   We still kept that vacation mentality, but it helped to slowly get used to answering the phone, checking e-mails, throwing laundry in, and cooking a little.  : )  Yesterday was a real down-to-business day - major laundry day along with ironing everything, fresh bedding, vacuuming and dusting and sweeping of floors, and cleaning the bathroom.

Today was in-the-kitchen day.  First making my two week menu: (no particular order)

*Frittata w/fresh salsa, green salad, fruit
*Crockpot spaghetti sauce over noodles, fruit
*Marinated salmon on the grill, rice, broccoli
*Roast chicken, baked baby carrots, spinach salad
*Homemade pizza, salad, fruit
*Oven swiss steak w/rosemary, orange slices, baked potatoes
*Oven chicken breasts w/marinade, salad, fruit
*Grilled burgers, crockpot baked potatoes, crockpot corn-on-cob, fruit
*Fish fillets sprinkled w/turmeric & black pepper, broccoli, rice
*Scrambled eggs w/cheese, whole grain toast, orange slices
*Garlic chicken thighs, baked baby carrots, salad
*Chicken cacciatore' over egg noodles, fruit
*Braised pork chops, baked acorn squash, peas
*Little meatloaves, baked potatoes, creamed corn


*Made my breakfast granola for the week
*Our pizza dough is rising for tonight's homemade pizza
*Boiled eggs to go on top of our salad tonight

We are trying to "re-do" our kitchen with minimal money.  So far all of the cabinets are painted along with all the shelves, baseboard, trim, and ceiling.  Over the weekend, I made red and white checked valances for the windows and we bought faux tin panels to use as a backsplash over the sink and countertops. Lastly, we found the peel n' stick flooring that looks like old barn boards and that should about do it. We need countertops, but that is such a project that we might just leave what we have (which happens to be the original 1953 countertops so I guess that make us retro!).  It's fun to see the transformation.  I didn't want to spend a lot on this tiny space but I did want to update it a bit. 

A long time ago, I read about making "work zones" in the kitchen and it really does help with organizing areas that you need to use for specific work.  One thing about a tiny kitchen is that it does need organization and you can't have too much stuff.  For my baking zone (that I used today) I have a small countertop space that I have the standing mixer on and then in front of it is a small area that I can roll dough out.  The cabinets above this space holds all the baking supplies - flour, sugar(s), salt, baking power/soda, flavorings, etc..  Below the countertop is a drawer that holds all the measuring spoons, rolling pin, spatulas, hooks for mixer, etc..  And then below that are cabinets that hold all the mixing bowls, pie tins, muffins tins, cookie sheets, etc..  I can stand there and have everything at my fingertips.  It doesn't take much time at all to whip something up.

There are other "zones" as well.  An area next to the stove would have a cutting board so you can chop items and put them in a skillet or pan.  It would have a drawer that holds knives and other utensils you would need (wooden spoons for stirring, etc.).  The spice drawer/rack would be there to quickly add what you need in the recipe.

A cleaning-up zone is important.  The sink, of course, but the cleaning supplies underneath.  A drawer next to the sink for the washcloths/towels.

All of these little things make the kitchen so much more efficient and a pleasant place in which to work.  If you find yourself going all over the kitchen looking for things and equipment and digging through stuff you haven't used, I would encourage you to consider to do the "zone" thing.  It does help!!!  : )

And lastly, while I'm washing dishes after supper, I put a small saucepan on the stove with water in it and bring it to a boil.  After I'm done washing, I throw the washcloth/sponge into the boiling water for about 10 minutes and take them out right before I close up the kitchen for the night.  I know a lot of women already do this, but I just started so I thought I'd include it here in case you've never tried it before.  It feels clean and sterilized and ready for the next day.  : )

That is it for today.  Have a pleasant evening and God bless your homemaking efforts!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Hello There!

I didn't think I'd post until next week, but our vacation has ended and I wanted to share some photos. After a rocky start we finally took off and ended up at our destination point thus taking the week to work our way back down again.

The weather was nice and everything was so green.  Greener than it usually is at the end of July.  The end of July.  The end of July?  I thought we just celebrated the 4th!  Anyway -

This is the benefit of a vacation.  How often can we just sit in one place until we don't want to sit there anymore?  To look closely at the flowers and watch the busy bees?  To soak in the sun and the fresh air?

We sat here for about 45 minutes until we couldn't take the 20 mph wind gusts - so, we moved across and over to the other side, which looked like this:

Much calmer.  : )  To sit and look at the lake and listen to the sound of the waves - not really thinking about anything in particular except whispering a little prayer of thanks to the God who created it all and gave it to us to enjoy.

Flowers amidst the sand and pebbles.

And the ducks.

The spot of our first picnic.  Woods, lake, sunshine.

Flowers everywhere.

See Mr. Busy Bee?  With all the news about our bees disappearing, these little guys were wonderful to see.  : )

All I kept thinking was that heaven is going to better than all of this.  Can you imagine?!

Looking up into the sky - the colors of nature are gorgeous.  Nothing clashes.  It all goes so well together. : )

The clean, fresh smell of pine.

Lastly, a little creativity - a picture of wet rocks along the shoreline after a wave washed over them.  I don't know how to paint or sketch very well, so I found myself SO very grateful for the invention of the camera!

I also wanted to remind everyone about the importance of being somewhere else.  We are to love our homes and take care of them, but we need to get away as well.  Believe me when I say that it's easier said than done but with careful planning and planning ahead it's so very important.  

The other things we saw were:

*a couple of "just married" couples on their honeymoon and silently praying for them as they begin the journey together
*young families with tots who are SO interested in EVERYTHING 
*middle aged parents with teens and how they are NOT so interested in everything but still along for the ride
*retired people who seem like they have all the time in the world 
*elderly people who are still in love holding hands along the beach

This I NEEDED to see.  Usually I'm the one, when on vacation, who wants to go at off-peak times so we'll kind of have the place to ourselves.  But, although not crowded, I was very happy to see families having fun together.  

The little extra things:

*gaining new inspiration when going into shops as to what kinds of things to make or how to decorate.
*ideas for gift giving - we went into a beautiful confectionery shop and was so motivated to give gifts of homemade candy.  It's all in how you wrap it up!!!  Gorgeous.  : )
*looked through books while resting and wrote ideas down from cooking, to decorating, to possibly making things to sell.

So, it's good to be back but I also miss the carefree feeling of just doing nothing for a while.  While sitting by the lake and feeling sad about giving it up a small voice inside said that all things end.  I can't just sit there forever.  That maybe in the ordinary days of being home I could also be content.  In the busy-ness of the days taking the time to look around and see what the Lord provides.  And to be thankful.

Have a blessed Sunday tomorrow.  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Blog Break

Two Harbors Lighthouse.

I will not be posting for a couple of weeks in order that we can take a break as a family and refresh myself and to also try to think of more things to write about! I know I don't HAVE to post every day, but I rather enjoy it.  : )  I can't believe that the next time I post it will be the end of July and almost August.  Wow.  Last night I actually caught myself counting how many months to Christmas!  What was that about?!  LOL

It's an errand day today, so I'm typing this in between outings.  : )  The laundry is almost done and I am hoping to get to that storage area.  And then out goes the pile of stuff I'm creating!  THAT makes me happy.  

My menu for tonight:

Pulled pork sandwiches
Red grapes

I will leave you with this morning's Bible reading:

Exodus 35:30 - Ex. 36:7  - 
v.31 - ".....he (God) has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability, and knowledge......"
v.34 - ".....he (God) has given.......the ability to teach others."

This shows that God gives us skill and knowledge in the work He has for us to do.  We are all different in this and that's what's so wonderful.  I couldn't sit at a computer all day, but I do love to clean.  I couldn't be a nurse, but I like to organize and cook and bake.  He does that for us.  I knew at a very young age that I wanted to be a homemaker, just like I had friends who wanted to be a teacher or secretary.  We need to help each other in encouraging each other with what God has naturally put into us.  


36: 3 - "And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning."
v.6&7 - "...people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work."

Wouldn't that be amazing if we would give so generously that someone would have to tell us that we need to restrain ourselves because they don't know what to do with it all?  Now that's giving!!!!!  : )

I will close for now and see you in a couple of weeks!  Keep praying.  Stay in God's Word.   

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Thinking Things Through

Roadside flowers.

I feel as if I've been thinking things through all day long.  Unfortunately, not a lot of physical work today.  I would much rather clean all day than think all day.  But, of course, the household requires a lot of both if anything is suppose to get done.  : )

First, my grocery list.  This always takes me forever.  I really try to think of two weeks worth of meals and that is a challenge for me.  To come up with something good, something different, something frugal.  It can be done but, wow, it stretches my little brain.

Next, paying the bills.  Going through statements.  Planning ahead.  Writing things out.  Checking the calendar.   It always feels good when it's done and especially feels good knowing that I have a whole two weeks before I have to do it again!!!

That brought me up to early afternoon.  On my to-do list a while back, I had "paint the kitchen cabinets" as one of the things that needed to be done and soon.  They are a sorry sight.  But, I can't do everything and I just can't find the right time to do this, so our son has offered to help.  He has done more in the past couple of days than I would have done in a week, so I am VERY grateful.  He has been able to work in the mornings and early afternoon, being done and cleaned up in time for me to go in the kitchen and begin cooking supper so it has been working out well.

I didn't get to the storage area in the basement at all today which I am very sad about but hopefully tomorrow afternoon I'll be able to get to it again.  It means a lot to me to get this house in order and get it to the point where everything we have we actually use on a regular basis.  I'm so sad when I see something in a drawer or box and we haven't touched it in years.  That's not good.  It needs to go.

Supper is already in the oven.  I try not to use the oven on hot days but it's what I had available and with the air conditioning on I feel I can do it.  We are having:

Oven Pork Chops

Trim fat from 1" thick pork chops (mine are boneless, but I actually like bone-in better).  Sprinkle both sides lightly with salt and pepper.  In skillet, heat some fat and brown chops, add chopped onion and add 1/2 cup water.  Cover and put in 350 oven for 2 hours.

In a casserole, potatoes and carrots drizzled with oil and water and seasoned with salt and pepper share the oven for 2 hours as well.

I will then stir-fry some green beans and call it a meal.  

I am looking forward to an evening of doing something crafty.  I don't know what that looks like yet, but I feel the need!  : )

I bid you a good evening and may God bless your homemaking efforts.  It's well worth the effort.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Oh My

Lake Superior.

Oh my - for two reasons.  One, it's a VERY hot and humid day today just like yesterday.  So. Very. Uncomfortable.  Strong storms last night but fortunately no damage in our area.  Yesterday we were without power for a couple of hours because, I'm sure, of the overload of air conditioning being used. The power went out right when the Sunday pork roast was ready to come out of the oven.  Talk about good timing!  : )  But it did make me think, once again, what we would do and how we would do things if we weren't fortunate to have the power come back on so soon.  We have been without power for days when we first moved here but they have upgraded the power lines and transformers to handle it more efficiently (except for yesterday).  : o  I need to go back to my kitchen notebook and re-read the notes I took on cooking without gas or electricity and be prepared for the next time.

Oh my - reason number two.  I'm beginning to clean out and de-clutter our second storage area which also happens to be the laundry area where the furnace and water heater are.  It's such an odd shaped room that it's kind of hard to get around things and get to things without being a yoga expert with all those bendable moves (which I am not).  It's not a pretty area and I have no idea of how to make it one so working in it and cleaning it is not an enjoyable job.  But it is an area that is out of sight and so everything tends to get tucked back into it and it grows and grows.  As with the small storage area that I cleaned and went through a while back, I am being ruthless in throwing and giving things away.  And already it has some look of order to it which always gives me the motivation to keep going.  : )  I have so far to go though!  I'm hoping that tomorrow I can get to it again.

Because of a chance of storms again tonight, I thought it would be smart to do all of the laundry AND all of the ironing first thing this morning so that if the power goes out again we will at least have clean and pressed clothes to wear.  

Other than that, not much more to report.  Hope you have had a good day with your work.  Blessings on your evening!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Correspondence Day

Homemade card.

Today is going to be a hot and humid one.  A good day to be indoors as, unfortunately, I physically don't do well on days like this.  So what better day to sit down with pen in hand and write letters. Sadly, I think letter writing is becoming a thing of the past.  We can e-mail people around the world and keep in touch that way or, yes, just give them a call, which is also very nice, but how many of us appreciate going to the mailbox and finding a card or letter from someone.  It's a highlight of my day when that happens.  What that tells me is that someone actually was thinking about me, took the time to find the right card, or sit and write a few words in a letter, and then send it.  

Remember the 5 love languages?  Mine is definitely service.  When someone goes out of their way to do something for me, I feel loved.  So, today I'm going to assume that others feel that way too.  : )

I know:

*elderly ladies that would appreciate a card
*a missionary friend that would like to get mail
*friends that are so busy but I know they would like to be thought of

We all know of someone who, when they get their mail this week, would like to sit down with an uplifting and encouraging note.  And sometimes the side benefit is that they will reciprocate!  : )

May you enjoy your Sabbath day.  Continue to keep the Lord Jesus close to your heart.  Talk to him about everything.  Worship Him with gladness.  

Saturday, July 11, 2015


Picture from vintage cookbook.  : )

I LOVE my notebooks.  I was notebooking before I knew it was the thing to do.  

My first notebook as a young mother was a notebook filled with ideas for family time or one-on-one time with children.  I would get books from the library and pour over them writing ideas down and filling pages.  I had dozens of pages and used that notebook ALL the time in finding things to do on weekends or holidays or road trips or when we homeschooled and we had "unschooling" days but still wanted to learn new things.

Ideas from my FAMILY-TIME NOTEBOOK include:

*Science projects
*Life skills
*Geography terms
*Arts and crafts projects
*Writing ideas
*Field trip ideas in keeping with our area or state
*Math problems
*Reading ideas
*Physical Education ideas
*Nature Study
*Community service ideas
*Celebration ideas for holidays
*Vacation ideas

Another notebook I keep is my KITCHEN NOTEBOOK:

*Recipes to try
*List of items to always keep in the pantry
*Menu planning
*Foods to buy and eat often for good nutrition
*Breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas
*Food gift basket ideas
*Freezer meal ideas
*Theme meal ideas
*Frugality ideas
*Ideas on how or what to cook in case of a power outage
*Theme picnic ideas
*Weight reducing plans
*Ingredient substitutions
*Gift Pantry ideas

The next notebook I keep is my HOUSEHOLD NOTEBOOK:

*Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Yearly schedules of when to get things done
*Recipes for homemade cleaning supplies
*Any articles I print from the internet that I've found interesting
*Cleaning checklists
*Organizational ideas
*Articles from magazines that I've pulled out in regards to homemaking

And then another is my GARDENING NOTEBOOK:

*How-to garden ideas
*What-to garden ideas
*Articles from magazines pertaining to how others garden
*Gardening tips
*Gardening plans
*Information on trees, bushes, and other plants for our area
*Window box ideas
*Outdoor decorating ideas
*Recipes for safe bug sprays or fertilizers
*How to grow herbs

Then there is my PRAYER NOTEBOOK along with my BIBLE READING NOTEBOOK:

Reminders of what and who to pray for (specific requests from friends and family)
This is divided up into the days of the week.  Every day has a specific prayer -

*Monday - pray for family
*Tuesday - pray for friends
*Wednesday - personal prayers
*Thursday - pray for specific needs in the home
*Friday - pray for our government, schools, and churches
*Saturday - pray for a list of Christian charitable organizations
*Sunday - pray for intervention from the Holy Spirit to not only touch our hearts for His Word but those who have come to church

And then in my Bible reading notebook I write notes on the Bible passage I read that day.  What did I learn from what I just read?  I write the book, chapter, and verse so that I can look back on it and use it as a reminder.

And then, lastly, I have a notebook for CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS:

Here I have typed up a list of all the Christian charitable organizations that we give to or help in certain ways.  

*What is their name, address, e-mail address, and phone number, if possible.
*What have we given in the past.
*Ideas of what to give - not just monetary, but physical needs according to who it is and what they need
*Correspondence from them

These notebooks are so helpful to have.  I take them off the shelves often, if not daily.  They are so useful as I cannot possibly remember all of these things and yet they are very important in the running of my household.  The one thing that I really want to do now is take the time to pretty them up almost like scrapbooking but nothing too elaborate.  I just want to make them look pretty so that they can be enjoyed by others as well.  A good summer project!!!!!  : )

I leave you with this morning's Bible reading from Exodus 34:29-35 -

*v.29 ....."his (Moses) face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord."

I thought this was wonderful.  Do we look radiant after our prayer time or worship of our Lord? Would others see a difference?  Something to think about.

Have a wonderful day today!!!!!!  : ) 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Back on Task

Love the raindrops!

I'm posting early this morning because I need to get things done today.  It's been such an odd week with diminished motivation and energy.  But I woke up today ready to get back to it.  : )

*I need to start painting the kitchen.  Small kitchen, but big task.
*I need to clean mini-blinds.
*I need to write out a weight-reduction plan.  My friend, Violet, motivated me.  : )
*I need to continue to pull weeds and clean up the yard a bit.
*I need to do some light housecleaning.  

I am so excited that a brother and his wife from out-of-state are coming to visit over lunch here tomorrow afternoon.  We don't get many out-of-town visitors so this means a lot to me.

In my Bible reading this morning (Exodus 33:12-23) I highlighted several verses that I want to share with you:

*Moses speaking - (v.13) - "If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you."

We could turn this into a prayer for ourselves!

*Again, Moses speaking - (v.16) - "How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us?  What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?"

First, I find that the way Moses speaks to God so comforting.  He speaks to God as if he were speaking to a friend.  I believe that's the way it should be.  God is our friend and we can talk to Him and come to Him with all our worries, doubts, fears, AND questions.

*God speaking to Moses - (v.17) - "I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name."

I cried when I read this one!  I KNOW YOU BY NAME.  He knows me.  He hears me when I talk to him.  He's ok when I go on and on in my conversation with him.  And isn't it wonderful when He says I AM PLEASED WITH YOU.  I know we don't always feel that God is pleased with us.  But He is. He doesn't expect us to be perfect.  He takes us as we are.  What a comfort.

*Again, God speaking - (v.19) - "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."

Leave everything to God.  He's in control.

May you enjoy this day that the Lord has made.  Thank Him.  Pray.  Trust.  God bless you as you go about your work today.  : )

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Grocery Shopping, More Planning, Ironing, and Washing

Lupine along the side of the road.

Every time I go grocery shopping it just reinforces the idea of how making a list is so important.  And that list keeps me out of trouble.  I could pull things off shelves left and right.  Everything looks so good. Aren't we blessed with so much?!  But it can also be a little overwhelming.  That's why I enjoy shopping at Aldi. They don't have 10 brands of ketchup, they have one.  They don't have 30 kinds of mustard, they have one (and maybe a Dijon).  Love that.  : )  

The vacation planning continues as I peruse books about the area we will be in.  This is the fun part. I enjoy knowing whether certain communities have museums or historical attractions but I also like to know of the natural beauty each area has as well.  We want to take time to look at the trees, the lakes, the flowers.  We want to notice how good the air smells.  God certainly created beautiful things for us to enjoy, didn't He?  : )

Did the ironing for today.  While I do this job, I just plug in an old "Walton's" DVD and pretend it's 1934.  A hard, but simpler, time.  

And washing.  I am washing all the linens and towels from the camper to freshen them up.  I'm not a fan of sleeping in a sleeping bag, so I make the beds with regular bedding and comforters so it's more like a home away from home.  Our camper is 10 years old now and when we bought it one of the "must-haves" was a bathroom!  That decision came from a camping trip a year before that when we got caught in a terrible thunderstorm and couldn't get out for 7 hours to use the bathroom they had in the park!  That did it.  No more of that!  : o

Supper tonight is breakfast:

Oven baked bacon
Scrambled eggs
Toast and jelly

Easy, peasy.  : )

I leave you with a prayer from a little prayer booklet called "Pray for our Nation" - 

For National Revival

Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray for the great sleeping giant, the church, who even now has begun to shake herself from her sleep.  I pray she would awake to righteousness and holiness in every denomination, in every body of believers, and slumber no longer.

I pray we would begin to unify under the blood-stained banner of the Cross and preach the gospel of the kingdom clearly and boldly in every highway and byway of our nation.

I pray that we will not only stand up and speak up but that we will begin to reap a great harvest in our nation, bringing multitudes to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

May the revival of the saints be so all-encompassing that it affects the spirtual complexion of our entire nation and influences our politics, our economy, our media and our entire society.  Amen.

Have a good evening.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

An Odd Day

Waterfall in northern Minnesota.

I woke up today with a feeling of blah.  I don't often wake up with that feeling, but I knew it meant something, so I got my week two of the grocery list done so I can go shopping tomorrow, did a load of whites after letting them soak overnight, and checked the budget.  All the while still feeling blah.  I thought back to bedtime last night and how I couldn't fall asleep which is also not like me.  What was I thinking before finally falling asleep?  I know.  Vacation.  And how we have no idea what to do or where to go and it's getting close.  That bothered me.  I kept tossing and turning and trying to think. By the time I did fall asleep I was nowhere closer to figuring it out than when I started thinking.  So, I needed this day to just sit down and begin planning.  I am definitely the kind of person that needs a plan.  I need to know where we're going, how we're going to get there, what we're going to do.  

*First, we need to camp.  It saves money.  OK.  Check.
*Next, we need to camp somewhere that it won't be a long drive back home when it's over.  OK. Check.
*Then, we want to get out to see something and learn something, but again, we don't want our daily outings to take forever to get there because we want to take our time and get back to camp for a good evening meal and campfire.  OK.  Check.
*And, lastly, we need to balance our meals - most meals at camp or taken on the road with us, but it is a nice change of pace to go out a couple of times too.  OK.  Check.

There.  That feels better.  Now I give it to my husband and see if everything "checks" out with him as well!   Now, maybe I'll be able to sleep tonight.   : )

Last night's Chow Mein went over well and fortunately I have enough leftovers and enough rice to combine the two, pour it into a casserole and bake for an hour.  And that's supper!  Just add a salad and we're good to go.

That is just about it.  I hope you are having a nice day.  God bless.

Monday, July 6, 2015

On With The Rest Of Summer

Flowers from a roadside park.

Well, 4th of July is over and now we move ahead to the rest of the month of July and then the steamy month of August.  August is usually that month where it is so uncomfortable that you actually can't wait until the cool months of Fall begin.  But I still don't want to think about Fall yet (even though it is my favorite time of year).  

My husband took the day off as we were supposed to be out of town, but that changed so we've been having a nice day at home.  Me getting my Monday work done and him puttering with things that he's put off.  We will have father-in-law over for supper tonight and since he absolutely loves Chinese food, I try to provide that for him.  Tonight is Chow Mein and I'm sorry if I've already posted it in the past, but it's worth posting again.  It's a good one (at least we think so).  : )


2 lbs. chow mein meat (or regular ground pork - I also tend to use just 1 lb.)
1 large onion, chopped
1 can sliced water chestnuts
1 small can mushrooms
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 Tbsp. molasses
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 cup chopped celery
1 can bean sprouts, (drained and save juice)
1 beef bouillon cube, in 1/2 c. boiling water
1 can mushroom steak sauce 
2 Tbsp. cornstarch

Brown meat, seasoning with quite a bit of fresh ground pepper, but no salt.  Add remaining ingredients except cornstarch.  Simmer, covered 1 - 1 1/4 hours.  (I sometimes also transfer this to a crockpot and let it simmer on Low for about 6 hours)  Thicken with cornstarch in the saved bean sprout juice.  Serve over rice. 

This is a wonderful pantry meal.   It's easy to always have these canned items on a shelf somewhere. Yum.

It has been a very slow day so there is not much to report other than getting my work done and preparing for company for supper, so I leave you now hoping that your day has been enjoyable and that, with the holiday out of the way, you are all back to the work at hand.  : )  

So many blogs have quotes from Elisabeth Elliot and I found one last night that I'd like to share with you:

"To me, a lady is not frilly, flouncy, flippant, frivolous, and fluff-brained, but she is gentle.  She is gracious.  She is godly and she is giving.....You and I, if we are women, have the gift of femininity. Very often it is obscured in all of us....the more womanly we are, the more manly men will be, and the more God is glorified.  As I say to you women, 'Be women.  Be only women.  Be real women in obedience to God.'"

Have a good evening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Why Is It So Hard To Just Be Nice?

Stormy seas - Lake Superior.

I'm asking this question more frequently lately as I go out and about in our society.    Why IS it SO hard to just be nice?  I guess maybe the answer I would get is "define nice."  Here is what nice means to me:

*looking into someone's eyes in passing and just say "hi" (with a genuine smile on your face).
*letting someone, who is trying to get out of a parking lot because of heavy traffic, just go ahead of you. 
*be aware of others - do they really want to hear your conversation on the phone while shopping?  Do they really want to hear your blaring radio when parked beside them at an event that is for everyone? Do they really want to hear your screaming kids throughout the whole store?  Do they really want to hear 2 1/2 hours of fireworks at 1:00 am (like we did in our neighborhood last night- I'm all for celebrating, but really?)
*giving grace to someone when everyone else is complaining.
*asking how the other person is instead of always talking about yourself.
*not getting angry with a slow driver.
*not honking at someone just because they don't go the split second the light turns green.

These are just a few things I've noticed just within the past week and the list could go on.  How DID we get this way?  Is it because we live in the "big city" and people have this mentality that chances are we will never see the person we are being rude to so what does it matter?  But that's just it.  It DOES matter.  Our actions at that particular moment defines who we really are.  It shows the world that we are distant, self-centered, selfish.  All of a sudden we've become an "it's-all-about-me-I-don't-care-about-you" society.  Unfortunately it's in the church as well.  When we sit like little soldiers in church and listen to the sermon then go out afterwards and don't act any different, what happened? It's so sad!

Growing up in small town America, we weren't perfect by any means.  But there seemed to be this accountability.  You couldn't get away with seeing someone and just walk past them without causing a fuss.  Everyone knew you and there was very little that you "got away with."  Living in a city we become complacent and think no one will find you out.  But that's not true!  We, as as followers of Christ are accountable to Him.  He doesn't want us to act rudely or impolitely.  He wants to have us ALWAYS put others ahead of ourselves.

Being nice can go a long way with someone who is having a particularly difficult day.  How do we know what a person is going through.  Your smile, your voice, your actions, can make a HUGE difference in the life of a struggling person.  So, let's all JUST BE NICE!!!  

I leave you with another quote from President Ronald Reagan, our 40th President:

"The time has come to turn to God and reassert our trust in Him for the healing of America.....Our country is in need of and ready for a spiritual renewal."

How true!!!  Have a wonderful Sabbath day.  Keep praying.  Keep reading the Word of God.

Saturday, July 4, 2015


From our house to yours.

A good time was had by all, yesterday, at our 3rd of July party (at least it looked that way!).  Good old-fashioned picnic food. Wonderful weather.  Smiles and laughter.  The things a holiday gathering are made of.

In my Bible reading this morning, I'm still in Exodus and reading about the part when the Israelites go to Aaron while Moses is still on the mountain with God and they want to fashion for themselves a golden calf to worship.  The Lord speaks to Moses and tells him what's going on in his absence and how He wants to do away with them because of their sinfulness. But Moses intercedes on behalf of the people and reasons with God and God relented.  The way the world is today, I can totally understand if God would want to pour out His wrath against us, but I also believe that we can come before the Almighty God and intercede with the power of prayer as well.  Please be in prayer for this world, this nation, the state you are in, the community you live in, your family.  God hears our prayers.

Here is something from our 40th President, Ronald Reagan:

"America was founded by people who believe(d) that God was their rock of safety.  I recognize we must be cautious in claiming that God is on our side, but I think it's all right to keep asking if we're on His side."

Here are a few firework displays for you -

Enjoy your day!  : )

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Getting Ready For Tomorrow


It's a bit warmer today but still very nice.  I'm spending this day getting ready for tomorrow's 4th of July party (only we're having it on the 3rd).  It's also my birthday tomorrow.  I won't tell you which one - I'll just say that most days I feel like I'm still 20-something but the mirror definitely says something else! LOL

I have:

*dusted and vacuumed
*did more laundry so I don't have any this holiday weekend
*ran a couple of errands
*wrote out the menu board for outside
*put two dining room tables together that will hold all the food
*brought up the 4th of July decorations
*baked a dozen cupcakes

I need to:

*get serving dishes out
*clean the bathroom
*make hamburger patties
*make pasta salad
*wash lettuce and get other toppings ready
*get bucket out to hold pop and water
*think of a game or two

Tomorrow we will:

*set up the canopy
*hang up lights
*take screen off dining room window for our "food truck" party
*set tables up outside and decorate
*wait for everyone!  : )

I won't be posting tomorrow, but hopefully will check in on the 4th to wish you all well.  Have a good rest of the day!!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

And I Thought Yesterday Was A Gorgeous Day

Petunias outside the kitchen window.

My goodness.  There is actually a beautiful cool-ish breeze blowing today.  We started out cloudy, but now the sky is blue and sunny.  I just got in from pulling more weeds (they are persistent little rascals) because my day's work kept me in and I just had to take advantage of this, another gorgeous day.  : )

I can't get over the vibrancy of color in the flowers.

Last night the count for our 3rd of July party was 8.  As of two hours ago, it is 12!  I love it.  I'm a happy hostess. LOL  I've made my Friday list of to-do's already to make sure I don't forget anything. We aren't getting together until supper time that evening so I have the whole day to get ready.  After we eat and play a game, we will pile into cars afterwards and go and watch the fireworks (even though it's not the 4th - confused?).   We thought we'd do something fun this year for supper.  We still have the old windows on the house and we have to put screens on so we are going to take the screen off of our dining room window which faces the backyard, I'm going to write out a menu to read from and my husband and I are going to push up the inside window and take "orders" for food. In back of us, I will have all the food out on the dining room table and will then proceed to filling their plates while they wait outside and then bring it to them restaurant style.  I think it will be a lot of fun. : )

South side flowers.


*Groceries bought for another week
*Three loads of laundry washed, dried, folded, and put away
*Baked lemon cookies (what else is there?)
*Made breakfast granola
*Cleaned up the kitchen
*Pulled weeds
*Blogging  : )

These are the flowers that came from scattering seed.  

Tonight's meal is a quick and simple one:

*Hard shell tacos
*Tortilla chips and salsa
*Sliced pears

The common, but pretty, Daylily.

I was tired last night so I didn't get to any sewing.  I did, however, make some fabric yo-yo's from scraps of fabric.  They're addicting.  You can't make just one.  It's one of those things that you can pick up and sew while watching a DVD (which I did).  : )

I leave you with a quote from our 28th President, Woodrow Wilson -

"There are a good many problems before the American people today, and before me as President, but I expect to find the solution to those problems just in the proportion that I am faithful in the study of the Word of God."

Remember to stay in prayer and to get into the Word of God today, or tonight, wherever you happen to be.  : ) 

Thanks for dropping in!