Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday Thoughts

My first thoughts are a trip down memory lane.  I go back to my small hometown in South Dakota. The older I get, the more precious the memories are.  However, when I go out for a visit, I leave thinking that I could never live there again.  So much has changed.  No more parents.  No childhood home.  The main street where we shopped and enjoyed is now more or less a ghost town.  New people have moved in who have no nostalgic ties.  Growing up, almost 60 years ago now, I remember Sundays.  Mom would ALWAYS take us to church.  Dad wasn't a church-goer back then but he came to the Lord quite a few years (decades) later.  It took a terminal illness to do that, but that's okay. Sometimes that's what it takes. 

I don't remember Sunday meals.  That's why they're important to me now.  We would change our clothes and the rest of the day was ours.  Mom was one of the hardest working women I knew and she was tired most of the time so I suppose that's why there weren't Sunday meals. My brothers would go out to be with their friends and I would pretty much do what came to mind (color, play with my doll, go to the park and swing).  

As I got older, I continued to go to church with Mom.  By then, my brothers flew the coop and were out on their own either in college or working.  I keep thinking that I didn't get anything out of church back then, but as a born-again Christian now, I know that God plants seeds and even though it took a long time for those seeds to mature and grow, I owe a lot to a mom that brought me to church.

I grew up in the turbulent 60's and 70's.  I wore those stupid hip huggers and a band of beads around by head.  I wore things that, when I look back, I feel ashamed.  And when I take that trip down memory lane it seems that the memories get jaded as I grew up.  No longer a little girl I was then spiraling down into a place that wasn't good.  And years went by.

Then, many years later, God reached down with His Goodness and Mercy, and changed my rebellious heart and brought me back to the church.  He has planted His Word into my soul and brought about changes that has led me to life.  A Bible-teaching, God-honoring church can do that.  We, once again, live in turbulent times and we need moms (and dads) that will take their children to church.  A long time ago now, I had a neighbor (who didn't go to church) say that she should take her kids to church once in a while so that THEY could decide whether or not to believe.  And everything within me wanted to shout "YES!  Please do that!"  But, unfortunately she didn't.

I guess, maybe because Mother's Day is in a couple of weeks and I find myself missing my mom and my husband's mom, that I'm remembering and feeling it important enough to write about.  Both women went to church.  And both women took their children to church.  Moms of today, I beg of you - even if your husband won't or can't - you be the one to take your children to church so that seeds can be planted within them that will mature and grow and "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."  (Proverbs 22:6)  And they can sing this familiar song that both young and young-at-heart can glean wisdom in it's simplicity from:

"Jesus, loves me this I know
for the Bible tells me so.  Little
ones to Him belong, they are
weak but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
The Bible tells me so.  : )

I encourage you to make Sundays special for you and your family.  Put God first and everything will fall into place after that.  It's not easy to live in the world these days.  It's not easy to parent in the society we live in these days.  God is here for us in and through it all.  Find a Bible believing and teaching church that speaks truth from His word.  And, please, for the sake of the children who have to grow up in this confusing world, take them too.  God will touch their little hearts and plant those seeds.  Now that it's Spring, it's the perfect time.  : )

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Depression Era Carrot Cake

The Depression Era has always been of interest to me.  Maybe because I had older parents.  I was the youngest in the family of nine children and mom gave birth to me when she was 41 years old.  I remember listening to stories of how difficult everything was in the 30's out on the prairies of South Dakota, but how they really made do with very little.  

I have collected quite a few "Depression Era recipes" and am now beginning to cook and bake some of them to see how they taste and the recipe that I'm about to share is one that I baked yesterday for last night's meal.

One of my favorite blogs to read is called ""  To say that she has a lot of frugal things on her blog is an understatement.  She shows us how to be very frugal and use things up and to clean our homes in a natural way.  I hope you can take the time to go over to her blog and peruse it for yourself.  It's loaded with ideas!  This is where I got the recipe for last night's cake and it's a keeper.  : )

While growing up, any cake that was baked in an 8 x 8 pan was called a snack cake.  If we wanted a sweet treat once in a while, we would bake a snack cake.  I would definitely put this cake under that category.  It's very moist and very tasty and I hope you'll give it a try.  

Here it is:


Dry ingredients:

1 1/2 cups + 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. white sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 pinch cloves
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Wet ingredients:

5 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots

Preheat oven to 350 and grease an 8 x 8 baking pan.

Measure out and mix all the dry ingredients together in your prepared baking pan.

Make three wells in the baking pan (making sure one is large enough to contain the oil).  Pour the oil into the largest well, and the vinegar into another well, and then the vanilla into the third well.

Pour water over all the contents.

Add your shredded carrots.  Oh, no!  I forgot to take a picture of the carrots!  Sorry.  : (  Carefully mix all these ingredients until combined and smooth.

Bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Cool on wire rack.

When completely cooled, you can frost it.  I chose to just top it with confectioners sugar.

This got a two thumbs up last night.  I know I'll be baking this often.  : )

It looks like it's going to be pretty nice here so I will need to get outside at some point to put mulch around the plants that are coming up and clean out some more beds.  Get a little fresh air and sunshine before the next round of rain/snow mix comes through tomorrow!

Hope you have a fine day today.  Take care and God bless.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

April Showers

Snow showers, that is.

Those of us in Minnesota (which is affectionately called Minne-snow-ta) are used to having snow in April and this morning was no exception.  I think I might have been the only one saying that it looked rather pretty coming down.  I felt I could say that because I knew it wouldn't stay and turn into inches of snow.  I would have been singing a different tune if that was the case.  But a light dusting was just...pretty.  : )  It is leaving it rather cold though.  Just when we were used to going outside without a coat, we need to grab them again.  We will have to remember this cool spell in August, when we will be melting from the heat and humidity.

It has been a day of getting some sewing done.  Cold outside, warm inside, and a cup of hot coffee is the perfect combination for doing this kind of work.  Yesterday's post was about finding things to do where we would have the opportunity to pray while working and this came to mind:

Having some hand sewing that you can pick up and work on is a way for you to sit still, turn everything off, and stitch and pray in the quiet.  

I pieced this every which way and finally came up with this:

It's very small so it can be used for a tabletop.

The other thing I got around to is pinning the rickrack around the other quilt:

Now I need to sew it on and it will be ready to go into "ye olde shop."

That's it for today.  May God bless your homemaking efforts.  Thank you for dropping in.  I enjoy your visit.  : )

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Literally Working Through the Pain

Our friend with the terminal illness (cancer) is closing in on his last days (here on earth) and to say that he is in constant thought is an understatement.  I remember almost 28 years ago when I was giving birth to our son, my mother-in-law told me that she cleaned all day just to keep busy and  was praying for me.  It's been the same here.  After receiving the news about our friend and how close he is to going home to be with the Lord, I scrubbed and cleaned all day yesterday.  All the while, thinking of him and praying for him and especially praying for his family without him.  There is something comforting and restorative in work that helps in dealing with whatever you're facing at the time.  

I know myself and if I just sat and thought about everything it would all become too overwhelming. So (for me), work along with prayer, is the perfect combination.  Here are a few things I do to give me the extra time I need to pray throughout the day:

*hang the laundry instead of using the dryer
*scrub the inside of the refrigerator 
*scrub the bathtub
*clean the oven
*clean and organize drawers
*go through things in the storage area
* can fill in the rest.  This work/pray time during the day doesn't take the place of my morning prayer time with the Lord.  That time is always uninterrupted and set aside.  The "praying throughout the day" is what the Bible calls "praying without ceasing" and it certainly helps when we're going through a difficult time.

I hope you can give it a try.  God is with us (always), so it just makes sense to talk things over with Him and give to Him what is hard to deal with on your own.

Thank you for stopping by.  You are ALWAYS welcome.  

Monday, April 24, 2017

Ginger Root

I'm sorry that I didn't take a picture of what ginger root looks like.  I guess I took it for granted that most of you already know.  It's the spicy plant that almost looks like a hand with fingers and at the grocery store you can break off a "finger" to purchase.  

I'm finding that I'm using ginger root more often especially in Chinese food.  I love the smell when I'm grating it.  But sometimes one of those "fingers" I break off is even a little too big for what I need in a particular recipe so I looked on-line and found out that you can freeze it.  After peeling it, grate it and then measure out teaspoons-full to put in little mounds on a plate.  Pop it in the freezer until hard and then take them off the plate and put them into a freezer bag for future use.  Just thaw what you need when cooking!  : )

Not much but at least it didn't spoil and go to waste.  I was also reading today that you can plant one of the "fingers" and it will grow more ginger root!  The only thing that would make me hesitate is that the article said it would grow eight-fold!  That's a lot of ginger root.  But I think it would be fun to at least give it a try.

And then to complete my study on ginger root, I looked up the health benefits.  Here is what I found:

*reduces symptoms of nausea
*reduces muscle pain
*reduces symptoms of osteoarthritis 
*lowers blood sugar
*improves heart disease risk factors
*helps treat chronic indigestion
*may lower cholesterol levels
*protective effects against some cancers
*protect age-related damage to the brain
*helps fight infections

Like I've said in the past, I'm not a health-care professional or nutritionist. Only you know what you can and cannot take based on what your physician tells you.  I do know that some herbs and spices interfere with certain medications or could cause adverse affects, so ALWAYS check first before trying anything.  

I find researching things very interesting.  Especially when it comes to food and how God has provided us with such good things to eat!!!  : )

That's it for today.  Thank you SO much for stopping by.  I really appreciate it.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A New Week

In thinking back on the past week (which I really tend to do on Sunday) I realize the intertwining of blessing, work, friendships, sorrow.  Each has its place in this life.  The week started out rainy and cool and getting a lot done around the house.  Then feeling the constant blessing of home.  The blessing of opening the Bible and studying it with old friends and new.  And there was the staying in contact with friends and family and making plans to see them.  And yesterday......... sharing the sorrow of a friend's terminal illness.

You wouldn't think we'd be able to handle it all, but God has truly given us the grace in which to do it.  He gives us strength - physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.  I, personally, need to pray for it though.  I tend to have high expectations in situations and with people and can easily be let down.  But, God is always gently leading me and guiding me and teaching me and I am so grateful for that.  It's amazing to think of how far I've come since being saved, but VERY humbling in knowing how far I've yet to go.

I'm in the Book of Nehemiah in the Old Testament in which it starts out with his prayer to God.  At the bottom of the page I wrote - praise, confess, request.  First, Nehemiah praises God (Lord, God of heaven, great and awesome God, keeps his covenant of love).  Second, Nehemiah confesses (acting very wickedly, not obeying the commandments, decrees, and laws).  Lastly, he humbly requests (be attentive to the prayer, give success, grant favor).  That truly is how we should pray.  God ALWAYS comes first, then we need to understand that we are sinners in need of forgiveness, and finally ask Him for what our need is.  But see what Nehemiah asks for?  He wants God to be attentive to his prayer not only for himself but all the Israelites.  He asks God to grant success in what he was trying to accomplish.  And then asking for God's favor to be upon him - to bless him in what he's about to do.  

What a man Nehemiah was.  Such strength and courage and boldness and wisdom.  And we can come before God in the same way.  Praying for blessing in our lives.  Praying for work that is meaningful.  Praying for our family and friend relationships. Praying for mercy at the appropriate time.  God is there waiting.  I don't know about you, but with a new week approaching, I need to make sure that it's covered in prayer.  Every week has its new set of challenges and I will bold enough to say that I cannot do it without Him.

God bless your Sabbath!!!!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Saturday Morning

Lovely orchid.

The past week has been fairly fruitful in getting things done around the house.  As I get older I'm noticing the change in my homemaking.  It's becoming more than checking things off on my to-do list (although I still use it).  There is more of a flow to it.  I still believe it's important to keep a home clean and organized and homemaking is meant to keep on top of those things BEFORE they get out of control.  But I'm learning to enjoy the work and the process a lot more than I ever did.

Cleaning and organizing is one of those things where you can actually see progress while you're working.  There is great satisfaction in that.  You can see dust disappear, floors shine, windows clean, a faucet sparkle, and so on just by taking a few moments to make it happen.  I think sometimes we get in the mindset that cleaning is for other people.  We clean before company comes over.  I don't believe that.  Our homes are OUR homes.  We should want them to be presentable for US.  And then if company comes over we're ready!  

The more I take care of my home the more I feel the blessing of having a home.  There is that WANTING to take care of it, not HAVING to take care of it.  Whether we rent or we own, we need to treat the space we live in with love.  To pretty it up as best as we can.  It doesn't cost a lot of money to be clean!  : )

Speaking of clean, the orange-vinegar solution I've been making has really been working out well:

The jar holds the next batch of cleaning solution (adding more orange peel as I go) and the spray bottle is the finished product.  You can see how the orange peel infuses the vinegar.  I use this in the kitchen for cleaning up.  I'm almost finished with the Spring cleaning in the kitchen and this past week I used this on the open shelves which tend to get pretty greasy.  It works like a charm.  Talk about frugal!  A big jug of white vinegar costs around $2.00, and we eat oranges all the time anyway so the peels are basically free and something we would toss.  SO much better than chemical based cleaners we would buy at the store.  : )  

I'm also beginning to compost again.  Unfortunately our compost container (the kind you turn on a regular basis) is in back of our garage so during the winter it's difficult to get to.  Now that it's Spring, I'm getting back to it:

This little box (with lid) goes under the kitchen sink and when it's full, I take it out and put the contents into the compost container outside.  Fruit and vegetable scraps, paper towels, tea bags, even the used coffee from our Keurig cups go in.  

I'm hoping to get out in the yard today while the weather is so beautiful.  I still have areas that need tending and plants that need dividing.  My husband finished the waist-high planters so I'll have to take pictures of those to share with you.  I'm so excited about getting around to planting things but it's still a bit nippy around these parts.  The lettuce can sure be started soon.  : )

Well, I won't keep you any longer.  Thank you SO much for dropping by.  Remember to love the home you're in and keep it nice for you and those you love and care about.  I think nowadays, women are being told that homemaking is no longer important, but it truly is.  If the Lord provided a home for us, I believe we are to take care of it.  It doesn't have to be drudgery.  Make it fun and enjoyable. And God bless your efforts.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Quiet Days

LOVELY raindrops.

The holidays come and go so quickly.  We prepare, we celebrate, we clean up, we collapse.  : )  I hope you enjoyed your Easter.  It rained during the weekend and then......just in time for Easter Sunday......the sun came out and it was a beautiful day.  Perfect timing!!  I always thought it would be wonderful if Christ came back on Easter morning - can you imagine celebrating Easter with the risen Jesus?!  : )

The days have been quiet days.  Getting things done and working on new projects around the house. Since it's Spring, thoughts turn towards the outdoors and getting some yard work done and planting, so for the past couple of days my husband has been in the garage building a couple of waist-high planters.  There is a two-fold reason behind being waist-high.  One is that it will help me with the on-set of back pain that tends to flair up a little more often than it used to.  And the other reason is those naughty bunnies will eat everything in sight if left at ground level.  We will still have to make covers for the planters because of the squirrels though - they will definitely climb up and start digging!  I'm excited to try them out.  I try to serve salads with our meals so I'm kind of thinking a salad garden to start with (different types of lettuce, radishes, carrots, etc.).

I'm indoors still working on the Spring cleaning.  But I have been trying to make time to work on something pleasant too.  I have been cutting out more squares for another little quilt -

I really feel that working on something creative just for the pure joy of making something with your own hands is very important.  I don't think we were meant to constantly work, work, work, and I don't think we were meant to sit, sit, sit, either.  But there should be a balance.  Personally, when I'm not feeling well, pulling something out to work on, or going into the kitchen to bake something, or getting outside, truly does help in the healing process.

How many of you are still trying to use up the leftovers from Easter?  I am.  We really like ham but................!  I'm the queen of making way too much food when it comes to holiday cooking and Easter was no exception.  Good grief.  Maybe tonight we'll be able to finish it all off!  I'm thinking pan-fried ham with scrambled eggs, toast and jam, and fresh orange slices.  : )

Adding to the quiet days this week, was our Tuesday evening Bible study with friends and Wednesday morning Bible study with a few ladies from church.  Both studies have been so thought-provoking and wonderful.  Last night, our study was about the worthiness of God.  How he is worthy of our praise.  There is nothing to compare Him to.  It's SO difficult to wrap our little brains around how awesome He really is.  And then, this morning, one thing that really stuck with me is how I worry about the future WAY too much instead of enjoying the moment I'm in right now.  And for me it's mostly because of change in my life.  I just get used to things the way they are.  There is comfort for me in knowing that this is the way it is and I can go on.  But then.....change!  Oh no.  My little world is different now.  How is this going to affect our lives next year at this time?  God doesn't want us to do that.  I'm not assured that I'll even be here this time next year!  This is something I definitely need to work on because it not only affects me it affects those around me as well.

I'm pretty sure that is about it for now.  Enjoy your days at home.  If it's raining (like it is here), cozy up.  Make a cup of coffee or tea, turn the TV off (or more importantly - turn the cellphone off!), open the window a little bit and listen to the raindrops.  Work on something - bake (if not for yourself, maybe a treat for someone else and take it to them tomorrow), read a good book, do some hand sewing, anything that will settle you down and give you time to catch your breath from the busy-ness of the day.  

Thanks for stopping by!  God bless.  : ) 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Preparing for Easter

This afternoon was spent in preparing for Easter Sunday.  This year will just be the four of us (husband, son, his fiance', and me).  I chose to have an Easter brunch this year:

Ham (will go in the crockpot before church)
Oven baked French toast with homemade syrup (made this afternoon to pop in the oven)
Dairy potato bake (again, made and ready to go into the oven)
Deviled eggs (will make after church)
Fresh fruit (already cut up and ready to serve)
Orange juice

And we've been fortunate to be invited to our son's future in-laws for dessert in the evening after they have their meal.  I will bring:

Four-layer pudding dessert  (done and in the fridge)
Fruit pizza (will make tomorrow)

Can't wait for all the good smells coming from the kitchen.  : )

Since I won't be posting tomorrow because of the holiday, I wanted to wish all of you a VERY "Happy Easter!"  I pray that you will praise God for His wonderful plan of salvation to all who believe in His Son, Jesus.  Jesus died for our sins and three days later He rose from the dead and He lives!  That truly IS a reason to celebrate!!!!!!  : )

God bless you as you worship Him in church.  God bless you as you gather with people you love and enjoy being with.  May you experience peace and joy.   See you soon!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday

"The Wonderful Cross"

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died
My richest gain I count but loss
And pour contempt on all my pride

See from his head, his hands, his feet
Sorrow and love flow mingled down
Did ever such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown

O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross
Bids me come and die and find that I may truly live
O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross
All who gather here by grace draw near and bless
Your name

Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were an offering far too small
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life, my all

I pray that, today, we take time to remember what Christ did for us on the cross.  His obedience to the Father's will saved us from ourselves.  I remember a time in my life that I did pretty much what I wanted to do and not caring what others thought of me.  Since I came to Christ that life is gone and a new life began.

The cross isn't pretty.  It's not covered in Lilies.  It's covered in blood.  The blood of Christ that He sacrificed on our behalf.  THAT is pure love, pure forgiveness.

If you haven't yet given your life to Christ, please do so today.  He gave everything for you.  Invite Him into your heart where He will dwell within you and change you to be the person you were created to be.  Not perfect because that doesn't happen until we get to Heaven, but better and most importantly, saved from eternal death.  With Christ, we are guaranteed a life eternal with Him.  It's a freely given gift.  You need only to accept it.

Have a blessed weekend ahead.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tuesday Afternoon

Another fine day.  We woke up to a light dusting of snow on the rooftops and grass but the sun came out and it was soon gone.  : )  We need the moisture, so the rain before the snow was very welcome.

A day of getting things done again:

*the bills are paid
*the menu for the week and the grocery list is written
*the fridge is clean inside and out
*a load of laundry is hung up
*the tub and shower is clean
*a kitchen cabinet is cleaned out and re-organized (throwing 2 bread pans that were definitely in need of replacing)
*boiled eggs for this weekend's "dip in the dye"
*took in 15 minutes of sunshine with a cup of coffee
*finished the quilt I was working on

Even if I would have gotten a couple of these things done today I would have been a happy camper, but sometimes it's true that when the body is in motion it stays that way and one thing just led to another.  Like I've said in past posts, doing something is better than doing nothing.  : )

I want to share another recipe that we enjoy for a meatless meal once in a while.  Again, if I've already posted this, I apologize.


1, 28 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce (or you can use your own)
1, 25 oz. pkg. frozen cheese ravioli, cooked and drained
2 c. (16 oz.) small curd cottage cheese
4 c. (16 oz.) shredded Mozzarella cheese

Spread 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce in ungreased 9 x 13 baking dish.  Layer with half of the cooked ravioli, 1 1/4 cups sauce, 1 cup cottage cheese and 2 cups Mozzarella.

Repeat these layers.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or till bubbly.  Let stand for about 10 minutes before cutting into it.

Really good.  It goes together quickly, and only 4 ingredients - it makes for a good weekday meal.  I added a green salad to it and crunchy garlic toast.  Hope you'll give it a try!!!

And here is that "quilt" I've been working on:

I'm thinking that I want to add white rick-rack all the way around it, but not quite sure yet.  Now I need to get busy and cut out more blocks!!  : )

That's it from here.  To the kitchen to begin supper.  I hope all of you are okay today and I thank you for dropping by.  God bless.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Monday Evening

It was a fine day.  Cloudy, cool, rainy in the afternoon, but a fine day.  

*all the laundry is done, folded, ironed, and put away (including all the sheets - I always look forward to Monday nights - those fresh linens.......mmmmmm..........)
*on Saturday I made beef stock in the crockpot ("recipe" below) so I finally got around to putting it into canning jars for the freezer
*the bathroom is clean 
*the basement has been vacuumed
*the upper two open shelves in the kitchen have been wiped clean along with the glassware - I also took down all the cookbooks and dusted them and before putting them back, went through them again to get rid of at least one (which is very hard to do)
*made a few calls for appointments that had to be made
*made supper
*blogging  : )

If you'd like to make your own beef stock/broth, here are directions that I found for the Crockpot:


1.  Roast bones at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or till browned (I think I did mine for about 45 min.)

I only had these two bones but I'm finding for our home, small batch canning is best.

2.  Transfer to crockpot along with any drippings and add quartered onions (with skins), carrots, and celery (how ever many you'd like).

3.  Add water to cover and a little white vinegar (it helps to take the calcium out of the bones).  

4.  Add 1 tsp. salt.  Simmer (cook on Low) for 6 up to 24 hours skimming scum off top.  (I kept mine in for about 9 hours.

5.  Strain the broth, take off any meat to use later, throw vegetables.

6.  Cool and pour into freezer jars leaving room at the top for expansion.

Only 2 and half pints, but it's 2 and half pints I didn't have before!  : )

That is it for this Monday.  Time to call it a day.  God bless.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Importance of Giving Thanks

"Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee.  As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him.  They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, 'Jesus, Master, have pity on us!'  When he saw them, he said, 'Go, show yourselves to the priests.'  And as they went, they were cleansed.  One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.  He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him - and he was a Samaritan.  Jesus asked, 'Were not all ten cleansed?  Where are the other nine?  Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?'  Then he said to him, 'Rise and go; your faith has made you well."  Luke 17: 11-19

When I read this a few years ago, the Lord really convicted me.  And I haven't forgotten it since.  It convicted me as to how many times in my life, since being saved, have I NOT said thank you to God for His provision, for His answered prayer, for His love, for His mercy........and it truly bothered me. From that point on, I didn't want to go without thanksgiving in my heart.  

Over the years, I have been on my knees before the Lord in prayer asking for deliverance, healing, mercy, grace, conviction, wisdom, etc. and when He has given answers to those prayers, I find it vital to offer prayers of thanking Him for what He did.  I didn't want to be like the other nine guys in the story who just took their healing for granted.  Like it was to be expected.

What I've learned over the years is that God doesn't owe us anything.  He doesn't have to give what we ask for.  He doesn't have to heal us.  BUT.....God does love us.  And He wants us to come to him with our needs, our fears, our worries.  So, if He desires to give what we ask, shouldn't we at least say "thank you?"  I believe there is such blessing in that.  It softens our heart.  It takes away that feeling of entitlement and replaces it with gratitude that He should even care whether we feel better, or whether we got that new job after months of searching - whatever our prayer was at the time.  

I do understand that there are unanswered prayers (or, at least, it feels that way to us).  But even in those times, there are things to be thankful for - if only in knowing that God is God and He knows what He's doing.  That's FAITH.

So, I hope that you will re-read the above verse over again and remember to "throw yourself at Jesus' feet and thank him"............  I don't want Jesus to ask "Was no one found to return and give praise to God.............?"  Let us be a people who generously gives thanks to God, today and throughout the upcoming week.  Have a wonderful Sabbath.  : )

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Saturday Morning

Saturday.  The week is done, the weekend is here.  What I've noticed over the years is that people "play" on Saturday and then work on Sunday to get caught up on what they didn't get done on Saturday!  I'm not sure when that flip-flopped.  Remember the time when everyone got up on Saturday morning and had their chores to do?  By mid-afternoon everything was done, you'd take a shower and then have Saturday evening to rest or go out to a movie or have company in for games.

I miss that.  Sunday used to be the quiet day of going to church, have a Sunday meal with friends or family, relax, read, take a nap.  In our neighborhood, Sunday is the noisy day.  Leaf blowers, lawn mowers, etc.  Everyone scurrying around doing errands.  It's difficult to sit outside and enjoy a quiet day.  No wonder by Monday everyone is exhausted and worn out and feels like they had no time to themselves.  When I grew up, nothing was open on Sunday so it didn't give you an excuse to go shopping.  It was a slow, quiet day.  So much so that everyone was pretty much ready for Monday to come!  I think that's how it was meant to be.  It really was a time of putting God first, family second, and everything else just waited.  

I would hope that it could be that way again, but I don't think so.  I wish we'd try though.  A movement, so to speak.  Getting back to working on Saturday, resting on Sunday and see what a huge difference it would make.  

Some ideas for Saturday would be:

*get all your laundry and ironing done for the upcoming week
*cook a make-ahead Sunday meal
*clean your bathroom
*do any outside work that needs to be done
*put gas in your car for the upcoming week
*do any extra errands so that they will be out of the way

Some ideas for Sunday would be:

*go to a Bible-teaching church and give your first moments of the day to God - putting God first will REALLY make a difference in how you do everything!  Putting God first wasn't meant to be time-consuming or frustrating, it was meant for our reverance towards Him.
*go back home and heat up the wonderful meal you prepared yesterday to enjoy with your family and/or friends
*sit and relax with a good book that you say you have no time to read
*take a nap if you're so inclined
*resist the temptation to go shopping 
*play a game together
*take a walk
*go for an "old-fashioned" Sunday drive

Just give it a try!!!  I think it will be difficult at first because we've been so programmed to be the other way around.   But the "work on Saturday, rest on Sunday" was meant for our good.  I would encourage you to start this weekend and keep it going for the months ahead and see for yourself what a difference it makes come Monday morning.  : )

Have a great day.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Spicy Sausage Pasta

Before I begin, I have to apologize if I've posted this recipe already.  I really don't go back to past posts and check.  So if you've already seen this, just yawn, shake your head, and pretend you haven't seen it.  : )  If I haven't posted it yet, then I hope you'll be able to give this a try - it's SO good.


1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. ring sausage, sliced
1 1/2 cups diced onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1, 10 oz. can Ro-Tel tomatoes w/green chilies, mild (or whatever you like)
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 oz. penne pasta
1/2 tsp. salt and pepper, each
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Add olive oil to an oven-safe skillet over medium high heat until just smoking.  Add sausage and onions and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add broth, tomatoes, cream, pasta, salt and pepper and stir.  Bring to a boil, cover skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat and stir in the Monterey Jack cheese and stir until melted.  

This tastes like something you'd get in a restaurant - it's that good.  This recipe says it serves 4, so I got a little nervous.  When a recipe says "serves 4" it means 2 here at our house, so I doubled it. Well, it just so happens that while I was doubling away, the original recipe would have been just fine. Doubling it makes a LOT!!!  So much that we are having it again for supper tonight!  I'll just steam some broccoli as a side dish and peel some mandarin oranges.  Also I'd like to note that this is spicy (which I like but not my husband so much).  While eating, we all had runny noses so it cleans out the old sinuses.  : )

Well, it was sunny and mild but a bit breezy so it was chilly.  I didn't get a lot done today (nothing in the kitchen).  I assessed my clothing needs for spring/summer so I did get out to the stores and do a little shopping (one of my all time worst things to do!).  Wow.  Those changing room mirrors have to go.  Or, do I need to go on a diet and start exercising?  I really think it's the mirrors.

I went through my sock drawer and took everything out and kept what was good and out went the old.  I also went through my jewelry.  I don't have much but there were things that I didn't wear at all and there were broken earrings which I could toss and a couple of necklaces to give away.  My shoes are all on a shoe rack now, so I'm feeling pretty organized in that area.  

That's all I have to share with you this day.  What are you doing in your home?  God bless.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

Well, Spring is in the air.  Kind of a warm/cool feeling.  Warm in the sun, cool in the shade (and especially with a little breeze blowing).  We're slowly getting things done inside and out.  I'm beginning the Spring cleaning in the kitchen.  So far the windows, blinds, and curtains are washed. And a couple of drawers cleaned out and organized.  My husband has been busy outdoors in raking up winter debris and bringing the outdoor furniture to the patio.  Not a lot, but even a little bit helps.  

I have quite a few make-ahead food items to work on and I'm thinking of getting to that tomorrow. Things such as:  beef bone broth in the crockpot to be put in the freezer, oatmeal cookies (also for the freezer), make ahead pancakes (again, for the freezer), cinnamon raisin quick bread (yes-for the freezer), and homemade Catalina dressing for a salad (not for the freezer).   ; )

For St. Patrick's Day I made a small ham to go with our Irish cabbage dinner and, of course, I had leftover ham in the fridge.  I wanted to post this recipe right after I made it because we liked it so much, but it never made it to my desk until now and I wanted to be sure to share it with you.  With Easter coming up and ham will likely take center stage and there MIGHT be leftovers, this dish is the one to try.  We really thought it was a keeper.  It is from the "Pioneer Woman" - I'll tell you that so far whatever recipe of hers I've tried, it has not disappointed us.  Here it goes:


3 pounds Russet or Yukon Gold Potatoes, washed thoroughly
2 Tbsp. butter
1 whole yellow onion, diced
3 cups diced ham
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup flour
black pepper to taste
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a large casserole dish.  

Heat butter in large skillet and add onions - cook for 1 - 2 minutes or until they start to turn translucent.  Add ham and cook for 3 - 4 minutes until thoroughly heated.  Remove from heat and set aside.
Combine half and half and cream in a microwave-safe dish and heat until no longer cold.  Whisk in flour and black pepper until totally combined.  Set aside.

Combine the two grated cheeses.  Set aside.

Using a mandoline or slicer, slice potatoes very thin.  Layer 1/3 of the potato slices in the buttered dish.  Sprinkle on 1/3 of the ham/onion mix, then 1/3 of the cheese, then pour on 1/3 of the cream mixture.

Repeat this twice more, ending with a sprinkling of cheese and a pouring on of the rest of the cream mixture.  

Cover dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes at least, or until bubbly and hot.  Serve!!!

*I made this in a 9 x 13 dish so it makes a lot.  It would make an excellent company meal.  I served it with a green salad and fresh fruit.  Yummy.  : )

That is it for today.  But before I finish up, I wanted to also share something from our Bible study this morning.  As we all know, there is always something to grumble about.  There is always something that's not going the way we want it to go, or someone has something we don't have, can fill in the blank.  Our "homework" for the next couple of weeks is to write down everything you can think of that you are truly thankful for throughout the days ahead.  So far, my list looks like this:

*God's plan of salvation through Jesus Christ
*God's Word (the Bible)
*my home
*my family
*my friends
*ability to see, hear, walk, talk
* be filled in.  : )

Life can get so sad and we can get so down that we forget that there really are things to be thankful for.  What would be on your list?