Monday, November 30, 2015

First Week in December


It was a rather odd weekend.  Didn't get much of anything done.  Whenever I started something it was "Do you want to get out for a little while?"  or "Do you want to go for a walk?" or "Let's go look around a store for a moment."  So it was kind of stop and go and getting out of momentum but I guess that's fine.  It's hard sometimes to stay put and concentrate on certain projects when you feel the need to get out.

So, the work that didn't get done was waiting for me today.  We woke up to a beautiful snowfall (not so beautiful for those getting to work - including my husband).  We have a lull in the action right now but it's supposed to begin again just in time for the afternoon commute.  Hoping that report is wrong.

The only thing that is Christmas-y around here is the music.  That I couldn't help but listening to hoping it will spark my Christmas spirit.  The snow helps a little too.  On my "to make" list I wrote down making my Christmas sugar cookies to freeze for later.  In the keeping Christmas simple this year, I think the sugar cookies along with my fudge and my mother-in-law's candy to give will be the only things I will make this year.  I kept thinking back to what everyone liked the most and those three things came to my mind.  When I think about my mom, she made sugar cookies and divinity.  I have never tried to make divinity but I certainly remember liking it when she did.  I do miss my parents this time of year.

Well, for the first week in December I am suppose to be in the kitchen:

*Wash curtains/clean blinds/wash windows
*Clean light fixtures
*Clean knickknacks and pictures
*Wash trash container and under the sink
*Clean oven (I just got a new one so that I can skip! Yeah!)
*Clean fridge
*Clean off all shelves, drawers and cupboards

My December list looks like this:

*Start any baking for the freezer
*Make any gifts and gather wrapping supplies
*Decorate the house
*Stock up on salt and sand for driveways and walkways
*Check the car(s) for any tune-ups needed

It's suppose to Meatless Monday but because of all the leftovers that lasted throughout the weekend I am having:

*Pork Roast (which is slowly baking in the oven right now-mmm........)
*Baked onions, carrots, and potatoes
*Green salad with tomatoes

A good meal for a snowy evening.  : )

I better get back to my work for the afternoon:

*Clean bathroom
*Keep writing recipes into my little cookbooks
*Send a birthday card
*A little ironing

I hope you are enjoying this day after a long holiday weekend!  Thanks for dropping by.  : )

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Last Sunday in November



It's the end of November.  The months fly by.  There is a winter storm watch in our area with heavy snow expected by Tuesday.  It begins.  When I was young I couldn't wait for the first major snowfall and now....not so much.  Now it means that the husband will be even more tired than he is now (part of his job is plowing snow).  It means getting up at 2:30 in the morning to get to work so that he can be done with it before everyone shows up for work.

I've noticed that my attitude isn't very good this year.  Usually the holidays (especially Christmas) bring a sense of excitement but for right now, I don't have it.  This past weekend is usually the weekend we get our tree and have it decorated by now, but I haven't even the desire to do that yet.

Maybe that's OK.  Maybe I try to force too much into too little time.  I mean we JUST got done with Thanksgiving - it doesn't HAVE to be Christmas yet.  When I watch all the old Christmas movies nothing really took place until the day before Christmas.  They bought (or brought) the tree right before Christmas.  I just read the other day that Christmas Day was the beginning of all the activities, not the end.  They used the twelve days of Christmas for doing all the things we do before Christmas. Everyone went out and visited with people.  They played games, etc.  Now that sounds like fun! 

Too many expectations?  For me, yes.  Already, in our neighborhood, houses were decorated before Thanksgiving.  And we all know the stores and advertising have been ready and Christmas music has been on the radio for a couple of weeks now.  I'm sure I must sound like a Scrooge or the Grinch!  But last year, if I learned anything, it was that by the time Christmas Day rolls around, I'm almost tired of it all.  I don't want it to be that way this year.

Our church doesn't make too much out of Advent.  When I grew up we did.  Advent.  A time of waiting.  Waiting for our Lord and Savior Jesus to be born.  Jesus really IS the reason for the season. With all my putting everything else first (the decorating, the shopping, the parties, the baking) I think I've lost that over the years.  Maybe this is the year I begin to take a step back and take a deep breath and wait.  Put more emphasis back on Jesus.  There is a line in the old "Bishop's Wife" movie that says - "It's HIS birthday we're celebrating" - how did I get so far from that?

May you experience Advent today.  Light a candle.  Have a family devotion time.  Read the Bible together.  Pray.  Let's learn to wait.  : )  Have a wonderful day.  

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Day After


I hope all of you had a pleasant day yesterday.  We go from being hungry for all the food that is presented to being just as stuffed as the turkey all within one hour!!!!  It's amazing how all that work can be eaten up in just a short period of time.  But it IS worth it.  I love sitting at the table watching everyone enjoying what they're eating.  At it DID taste so good with everyone bringing food to share. Lively conversation at the table, cleaning up afterwards, some watching football, others playing games on the Wii (am I spelling that correctly?).  And then, surprisingly, we get hungry for pie! Pecan cheesecake, apple, and pumpkin (with whipped cream).  Wow.  After that, you'd think we'd never eat again, but here it is, morning, and we'll be eating breakfast soon.  : o

The nice thing about yesterday, is that it snowed.  It began in the morning and snowed all through the day which made it feel that much cozier in the house.  It really was very pretty.  For the upcoming winter months, we put our bird feeders close to the back door for ease of getting to the food.  I am really enjoying watching out the kitchen window and back door all the different variety of birds and the goofy squirrels coming to the feeders.  They were certainly busy yesterday.  : )

Well, today I need to go through all the leftovers in the fridge and get that back to some kind of normal.  We're looking forward to having a second Thanksgiving dinner all over again tonight.  And then the rest of the day will hopefully be relaxing.  I'm in the mood for crafting and sewing today and maybe go for a winter walk to get some fresh air.

I got up very early this morning and just sat out in the living room to read my Bible and pray and think.  And, of course, Christmas came to mind with the 1st Sunday in Advent coming up.  This year I think I would like to slow Christmas down a bit.  We usually buy our tree right away, but this year I think I would like to wait a bit.  I also want to wait on the Christmas music too.  We usually go all out on outdoor Christmas lights but this year I think less will be more.  Put Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus out and then maybe decorate a tree on our little front porch.  I would like the gift-giving to be from the heart and not be lured in by all the commercialism.  I remember last Christmas to be such a let-down.  It felt hurried.  It felt expensive.  It felt meaningless.  It just felt different.  And in talking with a couple of people it felt that way to them too.  So I'm hoping to be purposeful this year. Hopefully, a bit more old-fashioned.

I hope you will enjoy this day.  Let us pray for each other as we go about the important task of creating a home environment that is pleasing, comfortable, and peaceful.  May the Lord bless your efforts.  : )  

Thursday, November 26, 2015

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!


From our home to yours.  Have a blessed Thanksgiving!





Give thanks to the Lord for He is good.  : )







Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Final Countdown


The Thanksgiving list both shrinks and expands at the same time!  Here are pictures of what I got accomplished yesterday:


I set this spot up in a spare bedroom.  It will be for the hot apple cider as guests begin to come over. It's suppose to be a mix of rain and snow tomorrow, so I thought this would taste good.



These are the jars of "Mary's Fudge Sauce"  that I want to give out at the end of the day.


And this is the Apple-Cranberry Relish.  I took a taste after it cooled.  Yum.  : )  Recipe to follow.


And then, lastly, last night before bed I baked this Pecan Cheesecake Pie.  It looks and smells good - I hope it tastes good as well!  

I also brought things out to the table (decorations, plates, etc.) to see what I had.  I found out that I only had 8 punch cups for the cider so I took a quick trip to the thrift store and found five more for only .79 a piece.  (I'm learning to not buy dishes or cookware at a regular store - I don't think there is anything that I've needed that I couldn't find at the thrift store first).

We did that last-minute grocery shopping in the morning so now everything is bought and paid for and safely tucked away in the fridge.  A while back we bought a small apartment-size fridge for the basement and I'm so glad we did.  I took a lot from the big fridge upstairs in the kitchen and put it in the fridge downstairs and for the first time since we've lived here, I have room for just the holiday food and whatever anyone else needs space for.   That feels good.

So, today ramps up a bit more but I'm looking forward to it all.  Here is what is going on:

*Bake the turkeys today.  This year I just bought three whole turkey breasts instead of one large turkey.  One I will make in the crockpot and the other two I will bake in the oven.  After they are done, I will slice them and put all the meat from all three back into the crockpot, pull them out tomorrow and begin reheating them in time for dinner.
*Make the mashed potato casserole to be reheated tomorrow.  (I LOVE make-ahead recipes)
*I baked sugar cookies (in the shape of turkeys) a while back so they will have to be frosted and decorated.
*I will set the tables today and decorate them (that's the fun part for me).
*I need to iron the cloth napkins.
*And then clean the downstairs and bathroom as I didn't get to that yesterday.

A full day but I enjoy it all.  : )

Here is the recipe for the Apple Cranberry Relish: (I doubled the recipe)

1 1/2 cups chopped peeled Granny Smith apples
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white grape juice
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 (12 oz.) pkg. fresh cranberries

Put all of these ingredients into medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until thick (about 15 minutes) stirring occasionally.  Cool completely and pour into jars (doubled this made 1 qt. jar and 1 pint jar).  When this was finished cooking it was a bit on the chunky side so I took a potato masher and mash it a little to more of a sauce consistency.  This would be good for gift giving too!  

I do hope that you can enjoy this day.  Remember to have a spirit of gratitude as you go about shopping and cooking and cleaning.  Fill your home with good aromas.  Get the kids/grandkids involved.  They will learn so much and have good memories.  

I will leave you with a few more photos from our home to yours:




And finally:


"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."














Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Getting Closer!


A couple more days before Thanksgiving!  Every day has it's own list of things to accomplish.  Today will be:

*Grocery shopping for the fill-ins and fresh produce
*Cleaning the lower level 
*Ironing yesterday's laundry
*Any cleaning that didn't get done yesterday

I will need to make:

*More fudge sauce (recipe to follow) - I only made 3 pints yesterday, but still need 2 more pints
*Cranberry relish - a new recipe so I hope it turns out!
*Pecan cheesecake - another new recipe - I've always read that you aren't suppose to try new recipes on the day of a party, but in reading some recipes you just kind of KNOW that they're going to be good.

MARY'S BEST FUDGE SAUCE (this really IS good):

1/2 cup butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tblsp. light corn syrup
1 cup evaporated milk
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Place all ingredients (except vanilla) in saucepan over low heat stirring frequently as it melts and then begin whisking it for a smooth mixture.  Bring to low boil, reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes.  Do NOT let it get to a rolling boil!  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Pour into quart jar (or smaller jars for gift giving).  Enjoy!!!

I love hosting get-together's.  My joy factor goes way up!  : )

I hope you will have a wonderful day today in your home.  God bless you.



Monday, November 23, 2015

Leading Up To Thanksgiving


We (the three of us) are home all this week so it will be spent in getting the house in order for our Thanksgiving get-together.  Today we are:

*Getting the laundry done and fresh bedding on
*Dusting and vacuuming the upstairs and downstairs with a quick go over again on Wednesday
*Wash floors
*Going through all the lists of food and what needs to bought yet and who brings what and then make out the grocery list for tomorrow's "fill-in" shopping trip
*Make my fudge sauce as a gift to everyone who is going to bring something
*And then most importantly - we have an old house and have not updated our amps (fuse box) so we needed to figure out how many things we can have going on at the same time (crockpots, coffee pot, warming tray, etc.) without blowing fuses!!!  : o   This year, the Thanksgiving food will have to be plugged in all over the house so that no one circuit is maxed out and then right before serving just lift out the serving dishes and bring them into the kitchen.  A little odd but it'll work!  : )

For tonight's meal (Meatless Monday):

*Meatless pasta sauce over pasta, add cheese on top and bake
*Salad
*Fruit (canned pears)

Back to it!  : )  Hope you are enjoying your day.  Thanks for dropping by.

  

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Genuine Joy


Every once in a while our church highlights a missionary in whatever country he/she/they happen to be in and it always amazes me when I see the smiles on the people's faces.  The faces of those who are being reached for Christ.  It's not a fake or phony smile.  It's always genuine.  It's joy.  And I'm thinking to myself, here are people with very little in regards to material things yet they exude joy.  

We could learn a lesson from those wonderful souls.  They know what it is like to live with very little.  The old phrase about "you can't miss what you don't have" is so true.  We, in modern societies, know what it's like to have SO much.  We take a hot shower EVERY morning if we want to.  We know what it's like to have three meals a day plus snacks if we want to.  We know what it's like to drive everywhere whenever we want to.  We know what it's like to protect ourselves from the heat or cold if we need to.  We not only have one set of dishes, we have several and find it hard to decide which set to use this Thanksgiving.  We have bank accounts that we can put money in and take money out.  We have a warm, comfortable, bed that is above the ground with enough blankets to keep us cozy.  We can pull books off our shelves and read whenever the mood strikes.  We can turn on TV's, radios, computers, smartphones at the push of a button.  We have clothes to not only make it through the day with but through the next week or two.  And I could go and on.  Yet I don't see anyone exude joy. More often than not, we all walk around with long faces as if we just don't have what it takes to be joyful.

Please don't get me wrong.  When we are down or see someone else down, it may mean they really are going through a difficult time.  When we were struggling last month, the last thing I felt like doing is smiling.  There are real problems out there - alcoholism, drug abuse, pornography, crime, violence, atheism, disease, pain, suffering.  Yet, what always keeps coming back to me is that when I see people from other countries who are truly joyful in their circumstances (because most of them suffer with these issues, if not worse, just like we do) I think it's because they know the difference between outside circumstance and what they feel inside.  

How can we, who have so much, get to that point?  Happiness comes from outside circumstances, but joy comes from the Lord.  We hold on to "things" so tightly that it's almost devastating when they are taken away or we have to give them up.  Our pastor gave a sermon on Paul's admonishment in Philippians to be on guard when it comes to our thoughts and what kinds of things we think about.  (Philippians 4:8 & 9)  Think about:

*whatever is true
*whatever is noble
*whatever is right
*whatever is pure
*whatever is lovely
*whatever is admirable
*excellent and praiseworthy

And then the blessing in verse 9 - "And the God of peace will be with you."

If we can exchange the importance of materialism in our lives to the importance of what the Lord provides for us every single day, maybe we can exude that genuine joy as well.

May God bless this Sabbath day.  : )

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Saturday Morning

Corn Palace in South Dakota.

With the holidays coming up I get a little sad.  I get nostalgic.  I yearn for days gone by.  I want my parents to be alive, I want my family to be close, I want the simpler times.  But then I have to really think.  Were they really the good old days?  The 60's and 70's were game-changers as far as social, ethical, and moral standards in this country.  Abortion was now ok, free love was in, taking God out of everything was just starting to happen.  Women were getting out of the home and working and kids were coming home to an empty house.  Drug and alcohol abuse was on the rise.  Teen pregnancy was more frequent.  Divorce became more and more accepted and alternative lifestyles began to take place.  So why is it that I yearn for the days gone by?   Do our minds really forget what things were really like?  Do we romanticize the past?  The things that I've just listed are still the things that are prevalent in our society today.  I think it's just that we've normalized all of these things and we feel that we've gone past the point of no return.  We don't see hope that things will get better and that they're only getting worse.  Millions of babies have been killed, for one person who does not believe in God means that we all have to be careful not to offend, women still look at career instead of home as the most important thing, drugs are ruining lives, alcohol is socially ok as we hear about wineries popping up all over the place and now craft beers seem to be the thing to do.  Divorce among Christians is high, traditional marriage is becoming a thing of the past.  Anything and everything goes now.  And if you don't like it, oh well, that's your problem.  So, I guess what I'm feeling when I want to get back to the simpler times is, really, I want to be young again.  For when I was young I was kept innocent until at least when I got to high school.  I am saddened by the fact that little children today are taught things that should be kept for adults only.  They grow up way too fast.  They can't be kids lest they are made to feel like they are odd.  Yes, I still wish my parents were alive, I still wish my family was close by, and I still want times to be simpler.  But they can't and they won't.  The only thing I can do is try my hardest at creating a home where God still reigns, where family is important, where friendships are valued, where "old-fashioned" values are still important, and hope is still alive. 


My Saturday looks like this:

*Picking up a new stove - our old one pooped out on us (right before Thanksgiving!)  : o
*Light housecleaning as I got very little done yesterday
*Hoping to watch a couple of cooking shows, do a little sewing and/or crafting
*And we are having father-in-law over for what should have been last night's meal but because of no stove we had to get a pizza instead.

Tonight's meal (same as yesterday):

Baked salmon with lemon pepper seasoning
Homemade rice-a-roni
Sauteed green beans and onions

I hope you all enjoy your day today!!!!!!  Thanks for dropping by.  : )  

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Beginning of a Weekend


The crazy wind has now settled down so I'm assuming that part of this day will be spent in cleaning up the yard.  It has gone from Fall temperatures to Winter temperatures very quickly and now we begin to hear of snowstorms and snow advisories.   I don't like driving the way it is but bring snow into the picture and that just about does it!  : o

Yesterday was a fine day.  I did get all the ironing done and the blanket is almost done.  The new recipe I tried was very good and here is the recipe:

Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken

4 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 6 Tblsp. water
1 cup honey
1/2 c. soy sauce
1/2 c. diced onion
1/4 c ketchup without high fructose corn syrup
2 Tblsp. vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Sesame seeds for garnish (I didn't do this - I garnished with sliced green onions)

Dissolve cornstarch and water and then add remaining ingredients, except chicken and sesame seeds (or onions).  Put chicken into crockpot and pour mixture over.  Cook on Low for 4-6 hours.  (I let this go for 6 hours and it really could have been 4 or 5 hours, but it was still good)  I also pulled the chicken out and cut it up in bite size servings, added it back to the yummy sauce and then served it over rice.  I also served steamed broccoli to go with it.  Very good.  As my family said - "it's a keeper."  : )  I hope you enjoy it too.

I was also able to get to my "creative spot" in the house and pulled out pictures and home decor items that I had so I can get them into my Etsy shop soon.  

Today will be an errand day with my husband and then a catch-up day here at home.  Once again I have found that there are a couple of areas that I have neglected lately so will have to get them back to a state of being presentable again. 

Tonight's meal (Fish Friday):

*Baked salmon with lemon pepper seasoning 
*Homemade rice-a-roni
*Stir-fried green beans and onions

I hope you enjoy this day.  Try not to listen to or watch the news.  But do pray.  Keep your home calm and a place where you and your family and friends can come and get away from the pressures that keep building up out there.  And remember that God is still in control of everything.  May God bless you today.  : )   

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Brrrrrrrrr.......!

Ship on Lake Superior.

It's now becoming more like November.  We have been so spoiled with nice weather up to now, but it's very cold today.  And windy!  The yard, that once looked so nice as of Sunday, is now filled with branches and pods.  So another clean-up day will have to take place after the winds subside.  

I have one errand to make this morning and then it's back home to the comfort and warmth of home. I am working on another fleece blanket to put together with another book so it would be nice to get that done today.  When I go and look around at the thrift store, I'm trying to get back to the children's books and find some that are still in good shape and are classics.  I then like to put it with a blanket and will give them as gifts to a shelter.  I'm also keeping my eyes open for stuffed animals and dolls. It's a fun project to work on and I feel like I'm "rescuing" these books and toys from being thrown out.  I want kids to be kids again.  At the age of 5 they're almost considered computer programmers already but I still want them to open a book and read.  I still want them to have a favorite blanket.  I still want the girls to play with dolls.  I still want them to hug a teddy bear.  So, in order to fulfill that dream, this is what I'm starting to work on.  : )

Of course I will have my work around the house (there is never a lack of something to do).  Again I didn't get to ironing so I will need to work on that and light housecleaning.

Tonight's meal (Thrifty Thursday) is:

*Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken
*Brown rice
*Broccoli 

Here are a few favorite ways to think about Thanksgiving this year (especially if you still have kids at home or grandkids):

*Get a book from the library about the first Thanksgiving and read about the Pilgrims.
*Draw a tree on a large piece of paper and then cut out leaves from red, orange, and yellow construction paper.  On Thanksgiving hand the leaves out and have everyone write something they are thankful for.  Tape them on the tree.
*Go for a walk together on Thanksgiving.
*Provide craft items for everyone to work on after the meal is over.
*Play games after the meal is over.
*Work on a puzzle together.

It's so important to create memories.  Doing something out of the ordinary is something people will remember.  Enjoy the day and have a heart of gratitude that you are even able to do something.


Before I end I wanted to share something with you that I read in the Bible this morning.  My Bible reading is still in the Book of Numbers and this verse jumped out - (God is speaking to the grumbling Israelites) -

".........you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you." (Numbers 14:34)

And this verse - (Moses is speaking to the Israelites) -

"Because you have turned away from the Lord, he will not be with you and you will fall by the sword."  (Numbers 14:43)

Please continue to lift our country up in prayer.  We are moving further and further away from the Lord and we are feeling the consequences of that.  Please pray that the people of this country will begin to come back to the Lord.  That we will begin to humble ourselves before Him and be saved "from the sword."

Have a good day in whatever you do to bring warmth and comfort to your family and friends. Thanks for stopping by.  : )

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

It's Clearing Up!


Well, it doesn't look like I'll be dodging raindrops, while grocery shopping, after all.  It was suppose to be another soggy day (and it was up until about an hour ago) but blue skies are showing through.

Today I am going to separate my grocery shopping into two trips.  One trip this morning and then finishing up at another store this afternoon.  I have a lot to buy with two weeks worth of food plus Thanksgiving and then a food basket.  Usually I just like to get out and get it over with but I think this will be more do-able.

So, today looks like this:

*Hang laundry up downstairs
*Morning grocery shopping
*A late-morning meeting
*Afternoon grocery shopping
*Whatever else needs to be done around the house

Tonight's Menu (Whatever Wednesday):

*Easy Cream of Broccoli Soup
*Grilled Cheese
*Apple slices

And, last night's One-Pan Enchilada Pasta went over pretty well.  Our family is not a "spicy" family (although I tend to like it more than the others) but this was good.  Here is the recipe:

2 Tblsp. olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 small onion, diced

Saute' these until softened.

Add 1 pound hamburger with pkg. of taco seasoning and cook till browned.

Add 8 oz. of rotini pasta, 2 cups chicken broth, and 1, 19 oz. can of red enchilada sauce.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover for 15 minutes.  Remove lid and simmer until pasta is tender and sauce has reduced.

Remove from heat and add 1 cup of shredded Colby Jack cheese stir until melted.  Then add 1 more cup of shredded Colby Jack cheese on top.  Cover and let heat melt the cheese.  Serve.  

Garnish with sliced black olives and sliced green onions.

That's all from our house.  What are you cooking up lately?  Have a good day and, again, God bless your homemaking efforts.  : )

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Soggy Tuesday


We are getting such wonderful rains the past couple of days and we're being thankful that it isn't cold enough yet to be snow! I like snow but the older I get I'm thinking that snow should just come in the month of December and then melt in January and be done with and that's just not the way it goes around here in the northland.  We really are very fortunate to be getting this moisture in the ground before it freezes.  Even though most leaves are off the trees, it's amazing to look outside and see the green grass when it's usually brown by now.

We cleaned the gutters just in time this weekend.  We have a "dirty" tree in our front yard that has tiny leaves and big pods and when they come down they're all over the place and easily clogs up the gutters.  So the old adage about making hay when the sun shines sure is true!

We finally got our new kitchen floor installed yesterday so it was another day of having a workman in the house and not knowing what to do with myself.  But actually I got quite a bit done.  The laundry was done (but not folded and put away).  I also sat for a couple of hours just doing the grocery list for tomorrow's shopping day.  It was the major Thanksgiving list of things and checking and re-checking recipes to make sure I have all the ingredients.  Almost everything can be bought this week so all I need to do next week is buy the fresh things.  And then I brought out a tiny ironing board that can be put on top of a table and I ironed our cloth dinner napkins.  By the time I had everything done the flooring guy was done too so it worked out nicely.

Today looks something like this:

*Fold and put away all that laundry
*Iron
*Pay bills/go through budget
*Clean the bathroom

Tonight's meal (Taco Tuesday):

*One-pan Enchilada Pasta (this is a new recipe - if it goes over big, I'll share it with you)  
*Lettuce salad w/grape tomatoes
*Apple slices (we love the Fall apples!)

That will be about it!  Thanks for dropping by and God bless your homemaking efforts.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday


We think of the friends and families of those whose lives were taken in another senseless act of terrorism.  Again, funerals will be given and memorials held.  One has to have a hardened heart to not feel the sadness and grief that others experience when something like this happens.  And it happens all too often now.  This is our world at this point in time.  Throughout history since time began, men have been hating one another.  They have been killing one another.  They have been at war with one another.  And it will continue to be that way until Christ rules.  Jesus warns us of these times.  We need to be on guard against the evil and we need to be sure of our salvation because this can happen at any time and at any place.  We love our freedom to move around, to go where we want to go and when we want to go.  But our freedom in Christ is so much more important than that.  It means that evil may take our lives but they can't take our souls.  That belongs to the Lord alone.  That's why it is imperative to be saved.  To give your life to Christ and have Him be your Lord and Savior.

Please pray:

*For the families and friends of those killed
*For them to come to Christ
*For the Holy Spirit to speak to the hearts and souls of people across the globe
*For the right people to be in the right places at the right times to stop other acts of terrorism
*For strength in difficult times

Keep your family close.  God bless you today.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday Morning

Lake Superior rocks.

Starting off cool-ish and clear.  A reminder that more and more we are going to lose the "nice" days of Autumn and prepare for the Winter.  I'm hoping this year I will enjoy Winter.  I keep thinking back to the days when I was younger and got out no matter what.  I feel so wimpy at times and don't go out to enjoy the outdoors as much as I used to. I don't ski, skate, or snowmobile, so my options are limited.  But I can go out for walks and I think I still know how to make a snowman.  : )  Something!

This is what today looks like:

*Make cookie cutouts for Thanksgiving and possibly Christmas to freeze
*Small load of laundry
*Iron all the dinner napkins
*Light housecleaning for the weekend
*Get out to buy new kitchen flooring for the floor guy on Monday  : )
*Make a new blanket

Our meal tonight (Fish Friday):

*Tuna Melts
*Onion Rings
*Jello parfaits

I got so much planning done yesterday.  I sat down and wrote everything that I would like to have at Thanksgiving:

*Turkey
*Dressing
*Mashed Potato Casserole
*Gravy
*Green Bean Casserole
*Sweet Potatoes
*Dinner rolls
*Cranberry Sauce
*Salad
*Relish tray
*Apple, Pumpkin, and Pecan Cheesecake for dessert

And then everyone usually stays until evening so we pull out food for another meal:

*Turkey sliders
*Chips
*Relishes from main meal
*Any leftover salad
*Leftover desserts and sugar cookies

And I'll provide popcorn for the games that just happen to be on TV or for those of us who like to play games at the table.

Since our meal will be potluck this year, I wrote the names down of who can bring what and I'll be shooting out an e-mail to everyone as to what they can bring.

Because it's potluck I want to send a little something home with everyone so I will be making my favorite Fudge Sauce and give that.

Then, because our church is so big, we really don't know the needs of some people but the staff does, so my other list was to write down everything that I could give another family, put it in a basket and drop if off at church for them to give to someone in need this year.  Basically I just took the above menu that we, ourselves, were having and go from there only in canned or boxed form and just give a gift card to a local supermarket so they can pick up their own turkey and few other items that I may not have thought of.  I really enjoy doing this knowing that someone else will be able to just sit back and enjoy the day.

To top my list making off, I started to think of Christmas.  First I went through the charitable organizations that I want to make sure to remember this year and put them in order so we can start working on them.  And then the list of family and friends came next and writing down a few ideas that will get me looking for things as I'm out and about shopping.  

Believe it or not, all list-making and writing and thinking took a good part of the day but it was so worth it.  I feel like everything is out of my head and onto paper and I feel organized.  Now comes the doing.  My favorite part.  

I hope you enjoy this day the Lord has made and that you are able to rejoice and be glad in it.  : )  Have a good upcoming weekend with family and friends.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

A Wonderful Blustery Day



It's a very cloudy, windy day today after a night of much-needed rain.  A cozy day indoors though.   

Today's to-do's looks like this:

*Make pizza dough for tonight's meal (Thrifty Thursday) of Pizza and Salad
*I've made my Thanksgiving list out, now I'm turning my thoughts towards Christmas, so this morning I would like to sit down and write ideas down of what to give to who and work towards getting out and getting it done
*Iron (because I didn't get to it on Tuesday)
*Clean father-in-law's house this afternoon
*Make supper

That should about do it.  : )

Remember to keep an attitude of gratitude as you go about your work!  Thanksgiving shouldn't be just one day out of the year, it should be every day of the year.  What helped me a few years ago was to keep a gratitude journal and every day write in it what it was that I was thankful for.  An example of one day looked something like this:

*Hot shower
*Breakfast 
*Electricity
*Clean clothes
*Clean water
*Roof over my head
*Comfy bed
*Family
*etc.

Most days looked the same but it just solidified the fact that God does provide and He provides generously.  

Enjoy your homemaking day!!  Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Thank You Veterans!!


To all the men and women in the armed forces, I want to give a HUGE thank you for all you do to keep our country safe.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families.  May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Here a few ways to bless a soldier not only today but throughout the year:

*Pray for them
*Pay for their meals when you see them in a restaurant
*When you are out and about, stop and say "thank you for your service"
*Send cards and letters to those who are overseas
*Send care packages (you can go on-line to see how to do that)
*Send a husband and wife on a retreat (Samaritan's Purse has a wonderful program in Alaska called Operation Heal Our Patriots - again just go on-line to see how you can do this)
*Visit them in the hospital
*Adopt a military family and help them with expenses or gift baskets with things they might need

They deserve our time and attention because they sacrifice so much so that we can still be free.

Again, THANK YOU for all you do.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tuesday Morning

Old Country Store

The one good thing about having an early prayer time is that, while looking out the window, the sky turns from dark into the most beautiful sunrises.  This morning was awesome.  But then what do you expect from The Creator of the heavens and earth?  : )

I'm looking forward to the day.  As we all know, planning the day and what it actually turns out to be can be totally different, but here is what's written down:

*Clean bathtub
*Iron yesterday's laundry
*Grocery list/menu
*Go through budget
*Bake pie with leftover frozen fruit
*Make chicken stock from yesterday's chicken
*Call some floor guys for a new kitchen floor

Tonight's meal - Taco Tuesday -
*Just a mix of hard and soft shell tacos
*salsa & chips
*apple slices

I hope you enjoy every aspect of homemaking.  If that is difficult for you, pray about it and ask the Lord to give you the desire.  Not every task is desirable but it needs to be done and is best done without grumbling about it.  Have a spirit of thankfulness for what you have and the capability to do it.  God bless you today.  : )   




Monday, November 9, 2015

An Unusual Day


Anyone who knows me well, knows that I'm not a spontaneous person.  I plan my days and pretty much stick to the plan.  I'm also the kind of person who feels like Monday through Friday is for work and to veer off that makes me feel a little guilty.  I've heard and read so many things about women who work outside the home thinking that homemakers sit and do nothing all day or just sit and watch television.  (Full disclosure here - I am known to play DVD's while ironing or cooking).  ; )  So I think that's always in the back of my mind and I don't want them to ever think that about me.  I know that's silly but that's just me.

Every once in a while, though, I let my guard down and throw caution to the wind.  Today was one of those days.  I have a missionary friend who is now home for a couple of months and we both have a mutual friend who both decided that we should have lunch here, watch a movie together, and sit and chat.  It sounded good to me!  Why not?  So, this morning I rushed around like crazy and got all the laundry done, cleaned the house, put the side dish in the oven to go with our noon meal, prepared this evening's meal so I could just pop it into the oven while they were here and there you have it - I actually did it.  A Monday afternoon.  Will wonders never cease?  We had a fine time together and they (we) want to do it again.  So maybe there's hope for this old girl who gets so caught up in the doing that I forget sometimes how to have fun.  I have another friend that I get together with once in while and after the visit it always feels so good.  

So, is it possible, I ask, that I can be a little more flexible, a little more spontaneous, and actually get things done at home too?  Yep.  : )

I hope you enjoyed your day as well.  Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Dealing With A Battle


It's pretty much a given that once you feel like you've been through a spiritual battle and you have a time of peace, the evil one will come and try his best at taking that away from you.  The last thing Satan wants is for you to be happy.  The last thing he wants is for you to think that you can go on and that things will get better.  All of a sudden you will feel the stinkin' thinkin' come back.  Bad memories will come back.  Doubt will surface.  Fear and worry rear their ugly heads.

That is when you "stand firm" as God tells us to do.  That is when you cry out to the Lord for help in fighting for you as He promised He would.  That is when you put on the full armor of God - the belt of TRUTH, the breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS, the gospel of PEACE, the shield of FAITH, the helmet of SALVATION, the sword of the Spirit, which is the WORD OF GOD.  (If you can today, read Ephesians 6: 10-18) 

It's amazing that when you think defeat is once again knocking at the door, you can see The Almighty Hand of God at work and see the victory.  Faith will rise and discouragement leaves.  Have a blessed Sunday with your family and/or friends.


"Voice Of Truth"
Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes to climb out of this boat I'm in
Onto the crashing waves

To step out of my comfort zone
To the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He's holding out his hand

But the waves are calling out my name and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again, "Boy, you'll never win!"
"You'll never win"

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
And the voice of truth says, "Do not be afraid!"
And the voice of truth says, "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of strength it takes to stand before a giant
With just a Sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors
Shaking in their armor
Wishing they'd have had the strength to stand

But the giant's calling out my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
Time and time again, "Boy, you'll never win!"
"You'll never win"

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
And the voice of truth says, "Do not be afraid!"
And the voice of truth says, "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me (Calling out to me)
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

But the stone was just the right size
To put the giant on the ground
And the waves they don't seem so high
From on top of them looking down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
Singing over me

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
And the voice of truth says, "Do not be afraid!"
And the voice of truth says, "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me

I will choose to listen and believe
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth
I will listen and believe
I will listen and believe the voice of truth
I will listen and believe

Because Jesus you are the voice of truth
And I will listen to you
You are...


Friday, November 6, 2015

Friday Morning


Three weeks until Thanksgiving.  It's hard to believe.  We're getting into holiday mode where we begin to think of what we are truly thankful for and starting to think of what we can do for others. Even through difficult times, being thankful is a necessity.  And it's through difficult times when giving our time, energy, and gifts to others can be good for our well-being.  There is healing when one starts to think of the food we will feed our friends and family.  Or the thoughts of how you can bless another family with a food basket because they are going through a hard time at the moment. There is a lightness of spirit as one goes about making the house you live in become a place of beauty as we decorate with fall leaves and pumpkins and then soon it will be greenery and lights.  Even if you have to force yourself to do these things because you just don't feel like it this year, I think you will be surprised at how you feel when it's done.  Here are a few ideas to begin with:

*put umbrellas in your car to hand out to someone at the bus stop
*drop pet food off at a local shelter
*have gift cards on hand for local fast-food restaurants to hand out to the homeless
*drop diapers and wipes off at a teen pregnancy shelter
*find a family in church who could use a bag of groceries
*rake an elderly neighbor's yard (or shovel snow in the winter)
*give socks to a homeless shelter
*offer to babysit so a young couple can enjoy an evening out
*drop coloring books and crayons off in a waiting room at the hospital or dr.'s office
*send flowers to someone "just because"
*be generous to a waitress/waiter

Can you imagine if every single person would do something for someone?   It doesn't have to be extravagant it just has to be from the heart.  It doesn't have to be expensive.  You could make someone's day.  Make them feel like they are not forgotten.  Put some light in the day when the days seem dark.  It can and does make a big difference.


Today will be an odds-and-ends kind of day:

*iron cloth napkins
*bake bread
*light housecleaning
*clean out gutters
*a couple of errands
*fix a spot on the outside of the house where water seems to get in
*keep up with the yard
*hopefully get to some sewing/crafty thing

Tonight's meal is Fish Friday:

*Salmon patties served on a bed of greens with honey mustard sauce drizzled on top
*Onion rings on the side
*Orange slices

That is that!  Have a wonderful day today.  May God continue to bless you in your efforts.