Sunday, March 31, 2019

Sunday Afternoon

Behold the Glory of the Lord!  : )

As women in our homes we think ahead to Easter and there are traditions that we've carried through for years and there are a few new ideas that we want to try.  Growing up in my family, it pretty much was put on your Easter best, go to church, come home and while Mom was finishing up the Easter meal, eggs would be hidden for us to go out and try to find, then back in the house to our sit-down meal (which was pretty meager looking back on it).  When our son was growing up, Easter began in our mother-in-law's home where she cooked the traditional Easter ham, had a pretty Christ-centered centerpiece, and then we either played games or worked on a craft project together.  Then after she passed, it was handed over to my sister-in-law and she tried very hard to emulate what her mother had done for us and then, even after that, we started going out for Easter brunch at local restaurants (which was my least favorite).  Now, I have Easter in our home.  The guest list is short now but it still remains one my favorite things to do.  I love the planning and the cooking and the decorating.

But, even so, as women in our homes, we need to remember to keep the focus on Jesus.  I love all the rabbits and the chicks and the eggs just as much as the next person because they provide beauty in our decorations, but we have an awesome responsibility of keeping Christ in the Easter gatherings.  

Having a personal relationship with Jesus is the most important way of doing this.  Unless you, as the homemaker/Mom/Grandma/friend, know Jesus personally it's hard to convey that to others (and we want to convey that to others!!!!).  In Luke Chapter 9, verse 20, Jesus asks of his disciple Peter - "But what about you?" he asked.  "Who do you say I am?"  And that's the question we ALL have to answer.  It's THE important question.  We cannot lead people to Christ if we can't answer this question ourselves.  Who IS Jesus to you?

Now that I'm done reading the Old Testament, I'm in the Book of Matthew and this time I'm studying Jesus.  Just writing down points as I read in order to learn more and more about Him.  My list so far:

*Born the Son of God
*Tempted in every way
*Had a calling here on earth
*A teacher, preacher, healer
*God of reconciliation
*He is the ONLY way to God the Father
*He wants to do the will of the Father
*He wants us to put His words into practice
*He wants us to be humble, have faith, and believe
*Jesus calms the storms of this life
*He knows our thoughts
*He forgives our sins
*He calls us to do His work here on earth
*We are made new through Jesus
*We can cry out for mercy in Jesus' name
*Jesus IS the Truth

And that's only up to Chapter 12 in Matthew!!!  : )  So, as you can see, if you could take only one of these attributes about our Lord and Savior and make it known at Easter, those who sit at your table can come know at least something about Jesus and that could lead to more and more.  Planting seeds is a good thing!  And how appropriate - as Spring is here we think about planting seeds outdoors and look forward to watching them grow.  How about planting some spiritual seeds this Easter and watch and wait expectantly for those seeds to grow in the life of someone you care about?

So on this Sunday, I would encourage you ladies - to have fun in the decorating, the cleaning, the planning, the food preparations, but to also include Jesus in your celebrations.  Just as in Christmas when we celebrate His birth, Easter we celebrate that fact that He bore our sins on the cross and rose again to Glory!  Show everyone who comes into your home that Jesus is the reason for Easter.  God bless!!!!  : ) 

Saturday, March 30, 2019

April To-Do's, April Tea Party Theme and a New Scone Recipe

The April picture on our calendar.  Again, I want to jump in the picture and live there!

It's almost April and it's beginning to look and feel like Spring around here.  SO nice to go for neighborhood walks and to just sit out back in the sunshine.  It tends to give me a little more energy these days.  : )

Well, I can't believe three months of our new year are already behind us.  I tend to divide the year up into three-month intervals so the next three months will take us into June!!!!  My goodness.  And there are lots of things to do!


*Inspect your windows and get busy cleaning the winter grime off.
*Tune up your lawnmower.
*Prune any fruit trees and shrubs.
*Rake up winter debris.
*Repair sidewalks/driveway.
*Wash/freshen winter clothing and store away.
*If you still have storm windows, take them off and put the screens on.
*Clean out the garage - SO much salt and sand from winter needs to be swept out.
*Reseed the lawn.
*Put the garden furniture out.
*Bring the garden hoses out.
*Clean the BBQ grill.
*Clean the birdbath(s).
*Plan your gardening ideas - up here in the northland, it's still too early to plant, but planning is always a good thing!
*Assess your summer clothing needs and fill in where needed.
*Plan your Easter get-together - who are you having over?  Are you going somewhere?  What will you serve?  What will your table look like?  Do you want others to bring something?

Like I always say, these to-do's aren't for everyone.  You may add to this list or you may take things out of this list, but the whole idea is to have a plan.  It's so much more fun and relaxing when we know that things are done and it should be a joy to take care of what we have.  : )


*Decorate with dyed eggs and ribbons of different Spring colors, bring home some Spring flowers like daffodils, tulips, hyacinth, or lilies and put them all over the room.
*Serve cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, fruit kabobs, and sugar cookies with pastel sprinkles on top.
*Play soft piano music in the background.

Sounds fun!!!!  : )

And, now, the scone recipe I wanted to share with you is a Pumpkin Scone.  I usually only bake with pumpkin in the Fall/Winter months, but I opened a can of pumpkin for another recipe and had just the right amount of pumpkin left over for this recipe.  It is a recipe that I've had in my file for a long time so I wanted to give it a try.'s really good.  Here it goes:


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees and either line a baking sheet with parchment or spray the baking sheet with cooking spray.

2.  Whisk until blended:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
3/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

3.  Cut 8 Tbsp. of cold unsalted butter into cubes and scatter over the flour mixture.   With pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles pea-sized bits.  Don't do this with your hands or you will heat the butter and we want to keep it cold.

4.  In a separate bowl, whisk till blended:

1/2 cup pumpkin
1 Tbsp. molasses
3 Tbsp. half and half or cream
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Stir this into the flour/butter mixture and mix till it forms a soft dough.  Transfer to a floured surface and knead three or four times till it comes together.

Pat the dough into about a 7 to 10 inch circle and cut into equal wedges and transfer to your baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or till golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  

Make a simple glaze out of 1 cup of powdered sugar and 1-2 Tbsp. of half and half or cream.  Drizzle this glaze over the scones and devour!!!!!!!!!  : )

As you can see, I did more than just "drizzle" - I love frosting.  : )

This will make your house smell fantastic and these, with a cup of tea, tastes SOOOOO good.  I hope you can try it (even though it's not a Springy thing to make).  

This Easter, I want to have my decorating be more natural and subdued.  No vivid colors.  I kind of took the inspiration from this fabric:

It's a piece of fabric my friend gave to me quite a while ago.  It looked like it was a duvet cover at one time so I cut it up for napkins.  It provided 10 napkins and now I'm in the process of hand hemming them.  I think the fabric is gorgeous, so I'm excited about using them at Easter.  : )

Lastly, I just put this into my Etsy shop, so I hope you can go over there and take a look!

I think that's about it for this post!  Thanks SO much for dropping by and visiting with me again.  I do appreciate it.  God bless the rest of your weekend!  : )

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sunday Evening

Good evening to you.  While sitting here (and I have been sitting here for a long time) staring at the blank screen, I have to admit that I feel at a loss for words.  Usually the words come almost too fast that it's hard to keep up, but tonight..........not so much.

I feel the weighty-ness of the world today/tonight.  I so wanted this post to be uplifting and encouraging but I think it would feel hollow if I did.  

It all started at the beginning of the week when I was reminded of the evils of pornography in this world.  How this can ruin people and families and to come across it unexpectedly and be reminded of it made my heart sink.  This ruins men.  It ruins their families.  It holds them in bondage that is so hard to break free from.  It reminded me of a time when we had to deal with this in our own family and there is always something in the back of my mind that wonders if he is truly free - I pray for him every day.  

The next thing was looking at my prayer list and how it has grown and how the things I'm praying for are much more serious than they ever have been.  It used to be that someone would ask that I pray that their son would find a job after being laid off - now it's serious illness, mental health, alcoholism and drug abuse, homosexuality, atheism.  Really tough stuff.  And it makes me sad.

The other thing was just going out and about this week and really noticing how society is breaking down and how people are changing - no manners, rude, in-your-face, anything goes.  I couldn't wait to get back home.

The last thing was knowing about, and dealing with, an on-going brother/sister spat that keeps on going and going with no end in sight and it leaves me weary and tired.

I told my husband it all makes me want to run for the hills.  Throw the computer out, throw the television out, throw the phones out, and just run!  Live in a cabin, go off-grid, take my Bible and my other favorite books, pack up the supplies and go.  But, of course, that won't happen.  It can't happen.  I would probably start feeling guilty about being so cowardly.

The ONLY positive thing that I could gather in all of this is my yearning for Jesus' return grows stronger with each passing day.  Reminding myself that this world is not our home does help.  I know He wants me to do what I can but He doesn't want me to carry the weight of the sins of this world on my shoulders.  Jesus already did that on the cross.  

So, as I go forward into a new week, I pray for fortitude.  I pray for strength.  I pray for courage.  I pray for boldness.  I keep hearing that this life is not for the faint of heart.  How true.  So very true.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Saturday Morning

A little touch of Spring.  : )

It's been SO lovely this past week.  My husband and I have started our daily walks again now that it is warm, sunny, and melty.  It's been a very good week.  I've been praying for strength, energy, and motivation and the Lord has provided!  A good part of my days lately have been in the kitchen - especially in the morning hours.  I've always loved to bake and cook in the morning probably because the morning light comes in and I'm rested and ready to make the house smell good!  : )  But lately I've even extended this strength and energy into the afternoon hours so even that which has been on my to-do lists has been getting done!

I've talked about Spring cleaning, but that hasn't been happening yet - especially the floors.  I'm waiting on that until all of this melting is done so we don't keep tracking it in.  But today I'm hoping to get to:

*cleaning a few windows
*cooking for a friend
*a load of laundry and some ironing
*make Easter napkins - I have thought about my Easter table and I have the perfect fabric downstairs
*work on my Etsy shop
*go for another walk!!!

Sounds like a Saturday.  Not too much but enough to feel good about.  I love it, when during the night I wake up and the thought "it's Saturday" comes to my mind.  It just feels different and more relaxing.  

I wanted to share another donut recipe with you.  I'm so used to not cooking or baking anything different lately that I totally forgot to provide you with photos of the process (or the finished product) but these were SO good that I hope you are okay with just the recipe.  Here it is:


Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Lightly grease your 6-hole donut pan.

First, make the cinnamon topping:

Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a small saucepan.  Stir in 2 tsp. cinnamon, 5 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1 tsp. milk, and 1 tsp. cornstarch.  Heat just to a boil - remove from heat and stir in 1 tsp. vanilla.  Spoon this topping evenly into each well of your greased donut pan.  Set aside.

Second, make the donut batter:

In a large bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. white sugar, 1 tsp. baking powder, 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. salt - set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. buttermilk, 1 beaten egg, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, and 1 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil.  Add this to the dry ingredients and stir until fully incorporated.  Drop by spoonfuls evenly over the the cinnamon topping of the donut wells and bake for 10 minutes or till baked through.

Remove from oven and cool in the pan for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.  (At this point, I always put a pan under the wire rack to catch anything that may fall.)  Some of the topping will stay in the pan, but you can take a spoon or knife to take it out and spread it over the donuts.  Let the donuts cool completely before adding this glaze:

Whisk together 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp. plus 2 Tbsp. heavy cream

SOOOOOOOOO good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   : )  I hope you can give these a try!

I noticed this past winter that I just haven't been feeling as good as I thought I should be.  I've been praying about it and a thought (and I know where that thought came from!) occurred to me to read up about Vitamin deficiency.  If I have any complaints about the medical community is that I think this is one area that they don't do well in at all.  I've said this before - I'm not a medical professional so what I say is what I've experienced, but I think that all doctors should check us out for Vitamin deficiencies BEFORE they tell us to take medications.  Medication MAY be what we need for certain things but maybe it's not for everything!

Anyway.......I've been reading up on Vitamin B deficiency and a lot of what I've been experiencing this past Winter was exactly what the deficiency had said.  So, I looked for a multi vitamin that included all of these essential B Vitamins and then I re-wrote my menus to include the foods that are rich in B Vitamins and have been including them in our daily meals.  Well, to be totally honest, I HAVE been feeling better and I have seen some healing taking place.  So, if you are on the verge of seeing a doctor for not feeling well, I would suggest that they take some tests on Vitamin deficiencies first before prescribing  meds that seem to cause other problems!  Again, I don't know your specific need, so I'm not saying you won't need medication, but checking this out wouldn't hurt!  : )  I know it's helped me to be more mindful of food and the importance for our bodies (other than just tasting good and filling us up).

Well, I think that's about it for this day.  Thank you SO much for dropping by for a visit - I really appreciate you!  God bless.  

Wednesday, March 20, 2019


Looking forward to this.  : )

We're having some mild, melty days here (finally).  We even have little plants on the south side of the house popping their pretty little heads up.  And the sun - it's staying up later and later (now I'm looking forward to it coming up earlier!).  Nice, nice, nice.  That's all I have to say.  : )

I've been on a little blog break.  I have to admit that I found a couple things on my traffic that were VERY discouraging to me (and that's putting it mildly).  At one point, I felt like taking my blog off completely because of it.   But I have reported it and will continue to do so if I see any more.  The stuff of this world is SO evil.  How some people can look themselves in the mirror or sleep at night is beyond me.  But like in one of the Bible studies we're doing - if these people don't believe in a God that they have to give an account to then why should they care if they're evil?  Nothing matters to them.  

But now for something bright.  It's SPRING!  And I think thoughts turn towards Spring cleaning.  I'm actually looking forward to it.  One reason for trying to keep up with the daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning is that the deep cleaning in the Spring doesn't have to be too major.  What I'm really excited about is getting to all the windows and floors.  The windows have been so rained and snowed on that when the sun comes through - ick!  And with all the snow and dirt and salt we've been bringing in, the floors are due for a real scrub.  

And then cooking and baking.  I've already posted on this so I won't go any further.  But I'm also looking forward to that.

If you have children in your life, sometimes zoos and family farms have baby animals for the youngins' to look at.  SO cute.  Also, there will probably be flower shows going on somewhere to go to and walk through and smell!  You might consider buying kites and find an open area to fly them (for us, it would have to not have snow).   And we're marching toward Easter - you can plan ahead for that.  Do something different and fun after the long winter months.  Something light and bright.  : )

That's it for today - got other things to do!!!!  Thank you SO much for dropping by for a visit - I still do appreciate it!   God bless. 

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Making Your Home What You Want It To Be

The Christmas Cactus (or Easter Cactus?) has lots of blooms on it right now.  SO needed as we continue to look out at snow!!!!  : )

It's been an interesting week as far as weather goes.  I know.  I talk a LOT about our weather, but seriously - with all the snow and ice we've had, what we DIDN'T need was rain.  And we got a lot of rain. It was going into our basement (along with almost everyone else around here).  My husband worked non-stop from 5:00 a.m. on Thursday morning to 5:00 p.m. Thursday afternoon trying to keep up with the water that was coming in a couple of places.  And this is what we were watching in our backyard:

a lake creeping closer and closer.

Fortunately, the rains did stop and the basement is dry again and the sky is blue and the birds are singing!  : )

I'm slowly doing a little baking for the freezer.  I made my lemon cookies (which I have posted already) but they are so good that they are almost gone already (there is one packet in the freezer though).  I made these:

lemon cupcakes

from this book:

but I didn't really like them so I won't give out the recipe.  : )  They were fine once I pulled out the blueberry freezer jam to spread on them, but they were too dry and not very muffin-y.  So I'll look for another recipe (or if you have a favorite lemon muffin recipe that you wouldn't mind sharing, I'd really appreciate it!)

Well, the title to this post is making your home what you want it to be.  One of my favorite quotes from Edith Schaeffer is "......people are always daydreaming of the kind of place in which they would like to live, yet never making the place where they DO live into anything artistically satisfying to them."  Isn't that true of all of us?  Instead of loving the homes we have and making them into our "dream" home, we're always yearning to be someplace else.  

The older I get the more content I become (which I feel is great blessing).  I'm talking about the house we live in.  I'm still not all that thrilled about living in a city environment, but I'm referring to our house.  Our home.  

I LOVE looking at Pinterest ideas and I buy magazines once in a while for decorating ideas, and I have books on home decorating and I can honestly say that looking at those gorgeous homes doesn't make me feel like I'm missing out on anything.  I feel like I can now just look at those pictures and find SOMETHING that maybe I can incorporate into our own home rather than drool and covet!

Think of ALL the things we can do right within the four walls of our own homes.  I think we use the excuse that we don't have the time, money, or skills to do anything, but I beg to differ.

Time - time can always be found.  You may have to plan ahead, but it can be found.  Think of all the time we waste in front of the tv or the computer or the phones.  Yes, there is time.   : )

Money - some things don't require a lot of money.  Again, you may have to plan ahead and save but it can be done.  Think about the money we tend to waste on stuff that we don't need.  Doing for yourself saves money.

Skills - skills are taught!  If you haven't tried to do something you can't say that you can't do it.  Sewing pillows or curtains for your home can be learned.  Trying your hand at painting a picture, or making candles, or making something you have even prettier, can be yours if you take the time to learn.  My mother-in-law was SO good at this.  She would literally look at something in her home and think "how can I make this better" or "how can I make this prettier" and she did it.  She was very frugal but her home expressed who she was and it was always very comfortable.

My friend and I quite often talk about how anyone can learn anything just by looking it up on-line.  Their are tons of tutorials on anything you'd like to know more about - gardening, sewing, crafting, painting, dress making, crocheting, name it, you can do it.

So, my encouragement for you today is to look at your rooms in a different way and if it is not satisfying to you, write down what it is that you don't like and then under that write what you might do to change it and then write down what steps you would have to take in order to accomplish the change!  Do you want to try a new paint color?  Are your pillows looking a little drab?  Do you have a piece of furniture that looks out of place?  Being the woman of your home, you can make it a place that you and everyone else looks forward to coming to and can feel a sense of "I don't need to be anywhere else."  : )

Thank you for your visit - I still appreciate it when you do!!!!!  God bless your day.  : )

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

March Tea-Party Idea

One of my favorite pictures - I have it in a little frame in an old dentist cabinet that I store my teacups in.  SO sweet.  : )

When I posted my March to-do's, I forgot to post the March tea party theme - I do apologize.  LOL  And since there is plenty of March left, hopefully you will be able to pull one together.  : )

If you are blessed to have a lady-friend or two to share a cup of tea (or it's perfectly okay to treat yourself), here is a suggestion for you:  

*Decorate with pots of shamrocks on a table that has a pretty tablecloth on it and float a few votive candles in pretty glass containers.
*Serve mint ice cream, a pan of gingerbread, and shamrock sugar cookies.
*Have some Irish music playing in the background.

Sounds lovely to me.  : )

That's it for now!  Thank you for dropping by.  God bless.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

A Beautiful Sunday Afternoon

Even me, who doesn't want any more snow until next Winter, thought this was a thing of beauty.  : )

Then, while driving to church, the clouds blew away and all this against a vivid blue sky was simply awesome.  Fortunately, we did not receive the 7 - 10 inches that was forecast.  It only amounted to about 3 or 4 but it was SO wet because of all the rain we got before it started snowing.   It was a little strange around here - lots of snow all over the place but it was raining (like it's supposed to in March) when there should be green grass instead.  Only in Minne-snow-ta!!!

This past week was so different than our weeks around here usually are.  I won't bore you with details because it would probably be a yawner to read about.  Let's just go with different.  : ) And that's okay.  The only thing (for me) that wasn't okay was that I'm looking back and knowing that not a lot got done and that bothers me a bit.  It taught me (once again) that I can write my to-do lists all I want (and I will continue to do that) but circumstances sometimes changes things.

Now it's the beginning of a new week.  There is always motivation in a new week.  I'm constantly surprised at how fast a new week rolls around though!!!!  This new week brings two new Bible studies - one at church with a few ladies and one with a couple of friends here at home and I'm looking forward to both.  One thing that I pray for is spiritual growth and discernment.  So that whenever I read the Bible or have Bible studies or hear the word of God spoken at church or on the radio, that it would just enter into my heart and head and become a part of me.  

One thing that stuck out in one of the Bible study lessons was that we need to be careful that when we study it doesn't just go to our heads.  We need for it to touch our hearts as well.  A lot of Bible scholars have head knowledge - they study and study yet nothing goes to the heart to change them in any way.  That is something to be careful of.  A Christian needs to have that personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives.  It's a wonderful thing to memorize Bible verses but if they are just words it doesn't mean anything.  Those words should penetrate us and change us and help us to be more like Christ - in everything.  I have met a lot of people who call themselves Christians but didn't look, act, or sound any different than non-Christians.  They didn't impress me in any way (not that I need to be impressed but you should notice a humble, repentant spirit in them).

If you can go on-line and watch Jeremy Camp's music video "Christ in Me" it is one of my favorite contemporary Christian songs that I turn the volume up on.  : )  I truly love the old hymns and so glad that I grew up at a time where I learned a lot of them, but I love the contemporary artists as well and right now there are a lot of good songs out there that are wonderful and uplifting and can give you comfort (and maybe shed a few tears that are good for us anyway).

So, for this new week I would encourage you to:

*Read and study the Bible - really take it in, pray about what God would have you to learn from it.
*Pray - there are SO many things to pray about and so many people that we can all lift up in prayer.
*Listen to Christian music - and sing along!!!!!!!!!
*Act what you profess - if you are saying you're a Christian, watch your manners, watch how act, watch what you say, watch where you go, watch what you view, watch what you do - if you don't think anybody cares or notices, you're wrong.  
*Care - you are God's creation and He loves you SO very much so care about people and care about what God has entrusted you with.  We all have special abilities and talents that God has put within us -we need to use them.

There are plenty of bad things going on that can bring us down and make us feel like there is no hope, but in Christ there IS hope.  It's okay to play Pollyanna once in awhile and try to find the good and play the "glad game" and list everything you have to be thankful and grateful for.   But remember to praise God for it for He is the One who provides it.  : )

God bless this day and the upcoming week!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Not Much Going On

Wide open country.  : )  And, no snow!!!!!

This post is going to be short because I didn't put my thinking cap on and decide what to write about!  

This is pretty much a re-cap of the week:

*kept up with the daily/weekly cleaning
*went on a few errands
*crocheted some more "quilt" blocks
*cooked meals but nothing new yet

Out of those four things, I can't seem to see post material.  : )  LOL

We are, however, bracing for yet another Winter storm.  We're running out of places to put all the snow!  Spring seems SO illusive right now.  It's like in the Fall when we were sitting outside with everything looking so pretty that we couldn't imagine it being all white from the Winter snow - right now we can't imagine what it will look like with everything green again!  We're breaking records so maybe that's something?  : o

So, I have my little list of "snow day" things to do:

*try my hand at watercolor art for my card-making
*make a couple of floral arrangements for my Etsy shop
*cut an apron out and maybe begin sewing it

We'll see!!!

Thank you for this short little visit.  I hope you can enjoy this day!  God bless.  : )

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

A Midweek Hello

Mmmmmmm.............Summer skies.  : )

Just checking in midweek to see how all of you are doing.  On Saturday, I posted all the meals that I will be able to make from our freezer, fridge, and pantry inventory so that I can use everything up.  I found out that I will be able to go past the middle of March with what we have, going to the market for fresh fruits and vegetables, etc.  I also mentioned that I would need to sit down and look through cookbooks and my own notes to see what I will have to begin making, in order to re-fill and begin planning for Spring/early Summer meals.  Saturday afternoon/evening was that day.  My husband has not been feeling well, so it was a weekend of staying home and I took advantage of that.

Out came the cookbooks, the notebook, and the pen, and I began writing down anything and everything that came to mind as I was reading.  To me, Spring and early Summer means fresh and light and different than the heavy meals we tend to eat during the Winter.  So here is what I came up with (so far):

*make piecrusts for the freezer - so good to pull them out at a moment's notice.
*make quiche this year - this would be a nice weekend breakfast/brunch - maybe serve it outside?
*make sausage muffins for the freezer - these sounded really good - a quick brunch idea served with a light salad and fresh fruit.
*have a variety of muffins in the freezer in fruity flavors such as orange or lemon - again, so good to pull out for salad night or with breakfast in the morning.
*make Spring/Summer crumbles or crisps using all the wonderful fruit in season - raspberries, rhubarb, blueberries, strawberries.
*make meringues for desserts - they're light and you can serve them with fresh fruit, lemon curd, or fresh whipped cream.  This would be SO pretty for Easter!
*serve fresh organic tomatoes slices with Mozzarella cheese slices on a platter - drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle freshly grated black pepper and a pinch of salt.
*make Jelly rolls for a Spring/Summer dessert - this SO reminds me of Mom.  We had very little money but she always had a Jelly roll!  : )  Use light summery fillings - orange, lemon, berries.......
*make a lemon drizzle cake for the freezer - it's always fun to pull a dessert out of the freezer!
*make orange poppy seed bread for the freezer.
*make sugar cookie cups to fill with fresh fruit and top with fresh whipped cream - I must admit, this is "Plan B" for Easter.  Just make your favorite sugar cookie recipe, cut into rounds, bake them, and while still hot, put them into muffin tins and let cool.  They will take on the shape of the muffin tins and can be filled.  Scrummy!
*eat more salads - egg salad, tuna salad, chicken salad, taco salads, chef salads, etc.
*make fast, easy, and light pasta dishes - serve with fresh baked bread and fruit.
*more grilled meals - burgers, salmon, ribs, vegetables, kabobs.
*serve a variety of cold beverages - grow lots of mint for mint tea, make fresh lemonade, iced coffee, sun tea.
*as seasonal fruits become available, make small batches of jams for the freezer.
*make ice cream sandwiches with homemade cookies - chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, oatmeal cookies, sugar cookies - all filled with your favorite ice cream.  Really fun to have in the freezer.
*continue to use the Crockpot - so good for those days when you just want to be outdoors.  Plan a meat and then you can just fix a quick salad and fresh fruit to round it out.
*the meats that I will want to slowly stock up on for the grill will be pork chops, hamburger, chicken pieces, ribs, ham (for cubes for kabobs).
*and that's kind of where I left off.  : )

For me, I need to do this kind of thing.  I love to have somewhat of a plan in mind and work towards something and have ideas in place.  It's also something that I enjoy doing.  Planning is fun for me whether it's a craft project, a sewing project, taking a trip somewhere - I've always enjoyed getting the information out and going through it all.  At the end of the month I know what I need to start baking and what I need to start buying.  I hope I can encourage you all to do the same and be ready with your Spring/early Summer meals!!!!

That's it for today.  Thank you for dropping by - I enjoy it when you do.  : )  God bless.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Sunday Afternoon

The next picture on our calendar for the month of March.  So sweet.  : )

Looking back on the week, the one thing that comes to my mind is how we can have questions in our walk of faith.  It is not irreverent to question.  In reading the Bible, we can't know everything that is being written.  In listening to sermons from our pastors, we may still be left with wonderment.  In Bible studies, there still may be things that aren't quite clear.  And that's totally okay.

I think, as Christians, if we don't understand something we feel like there is a lack of faith in us.  And that can begin to feel like we don't really take God at His word and we're on our way to unbelief at some point.  That is definitely not the case!  It's what we do with the questions and how we find the answers that makes the difference.

I have known people who have had questions and because they just can't seem to find the answers, they assume there are none and then quit.  My own pursuit of answers during the past couple of weeks has brought me to a more thorough study of the Bible in the area that is needed.  I brought my questions before the Lord and it was He that directed my path - "look it up" I could feel Him saying.  : )  And, look it up I did (and still am and will be for quite a long time).

I encourage everyone to purchase one of these:

If you want to look up any topic in the Bible, this is invaluable.  It's helping me tremendously.   It has already answered the questions I had and that I brought to the Lord, but it is also helping me to keep going with it.  I feel that just because my questions were answered I didn't want to stop at that.  I wanted to keep going and find out more.  

One of the things that I felt first was that God was taking care of me.  The above book has been on my shelf for years, and I can count on one hand the times I've used it.  So, for the Lord to put it into my head to take this off the shelf and begin using it for what I needed to know is amazing to me.  I felt His love and concern for me.  He wasn't going to leave me in my need.  

I learned a long time ago that discouragement and confusion is NOT from God.  He will not lead us down those paths.  Discouragement and confusion is a Satan thing.  He wants us to be confused so that nothing makes sense anymore.  And he also knows that a lot of people will buy into that and not take the time to scour the Bible for answers.  So when the Lord directed me (after much praying about it) it was an answer to prayer.  I pray every morning for protection against Satan for myself and for my family.  So, now that the questions have been answered, I can feel God's mighty hand in the battle for my spiritual well-being.  He shielded me and protected me so that I would not allow questions to go unanswered for too long so I would not lose faith.  How amazing is that?!

That is the God we serve!  A mighty warrior in the battle for our hearts, and souls, and minds.  Our protector, our shield, our defender.  He will fight for us because He loves us.  An everlasting love.  No one else can do that for us.  : )

So please know that if you have spiritual questions, ask God for help.  He will provide for you what you need to find the answers.  I encourage you to write your question(s) down and when you find the answers, write those down as well.  Also, write the date down so that in years to come, you can look back and see the hand of God at work in your life.  It truly is life-changing.  : )

I think the final thing in this post is to encourage all of you to pray.  Pray for these United States (because if feels like we're coming unglued).  Pray for the President and Vice President - for their safety, for wisdom, for courage and strength to go through all they are going through.  Pray for protection from the enemies from within.  I heard that we haven't seen attacks from within like this since right before the Civil War.   These are dark days and only the Holy God of Heaven can help us and if we come before Him and ask for the help we need, I believe He will.  It is NOT a time to be complacent in this!!!!!!  If we care at all about our children and grandchildren and what kind of country they will grow up in, let THAT be your motivation.  Let's do this.  Together. 

Saturday, March 2, 2019

March To-Do's and Other Things

I REALLY need some warm-weather photos to look at right now!  : )

The first Saturday in the month of March.  We ARE "marching" on towards Spring, but around here it doesn't look like it's going to come at all!  We got at least three or four more inches of snow yesterday to add to the feet of snow we already have.  It's getting to be a challenge to find places to put it all.  White, white, white...........

The March to-do's are VERY minimal:

*clean the garden equipment - (we'd freeze in the garage right now so this is going to have to wait!) LOL
*make homemade household cleaners (let this be the year that you slowly move from using chemicals to clean with and begin using homemade, better-for-you, less expensive cleaners in your home - LOTS of "recipes" on-line)
*keep up with going through your house and getting rid of things that you don't love and that you don't use

That's it!  So, it's pretty much continuing to do things within your home (for those of us here in the tundra!).  April's list of to-do's is LONG so rest up now!  : )

Even with all the snow and cold, in our "Blessing Jar" I wrote down "the singing birds" on a piece of paper because they are just SO active now.  All kinds of birds moving into the area again and filling the trees and eating at the feeders.  I saw my first Robin in the pine tree and it gave me that Spring hope again.  The blessing part comes from listening to them.  They are always happy!  : )

The other thing in March that some people plan for is St. Patrick's Day.  Being part Irish myself, when we homeschooled we tried to do something - wearing green, tinted the milk green for breakfast, making Shamrock sugar cookies, making an Irish meal that included some kind of cabbage and potatoes.  It was just fun to make the day a little different.  This is all light-hearted.  

But if you will allow me to get on my soapbox and talk about the not-so-good part of St. Patrick's Day for a moment - around here the bars and pubs jump on this "holiday" (not that they need a reason).  It pretty much becomes a time of drinking - green beer, Irish know.  Here comes my take on drinking - when I was in my twenties, I drank and I drank a lot.  I drank, not because I loved the taste of alcohol, I drank to loosen up and it certainly did that.  It loosened my tongue and it loosened my morals.  I look back on that decade as the worst in my life.  I had an uncle that died from alcohol, I had another uncle that broke his family apart from alcohol, I have at least three people on my prayer list that are struggling every day trying not to take another drink, and my husband has been a recovering alcoholic for over 30 years.  We watched the Super Bowl - beer, beer, beer, beer commercials.   None of us know what kind of an affect that alcohol will have on us and there are many people who say they can handle it.  My husband always says that if you can't go a day without thinking about having a drink, you have a problem, no matter how you try to explain it away.  So, please, if this is a problem in your life - get help, now.  It's not easy but it can be done.  Alcohol has a strong hold on people.  There is nothing good about it.  Don't even play around with it.  Don't use St. Patrick's Day as an excuse to go out and have a couple of green beers.  Instead, if you want to socialize, have friends and/or family over for a fun evening of eating together (potluck), watch a funny movie together, or play games.  Anything but drinking!!!!!!!!!!!

On one afternoon this past week, I made an inventory of everything I had in the fridge, freezer, and the pantry that has things that are already opened (like boxes of pasta, rice, etc.) and from that list I found that I can make 19 days of meals this month!  When I go grocery shopping, all I'll need to buy are things to fill in with (like fresh fruit/vegetables, milk, etc.).  This is what I came up with:

*Braised pork chops
*Ravioli Casserole
*Chicken Fajitas
*Oven roasted chicken and from this I can make:
-a chicken casserole 
-chicken broth
-chicken noodle soup
*Crockpot beef stock
*Crockpot turkey breast and from this I can make:
-turkey divan casserole
-turkey noodle soup
-hot turkey sandwiches
*Baked teriyaki chicken
*Baked fish fillets
*Cream of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot soup
*Beef barley soup
*Cornmeal pancakes and bacon
*Penne' pasta with meatless sauce
*Cheesy pasta shells with tuna

I also noticed that I have:
*homemade chocolate cake mix
*homemade butterscotch pudding mix
*frozen rhubarb for a rhubarb pie

All to satisfy our sweet tooth.  : )

So, I can easily go past the middle of the month with these menus.  What a savings!!!!!  : ) Then I can begin to start cooking and making more mixes for the Spring/early Summer months to stock the freezer and pantry with.  Those are the months where the food starts changing - less soups and casseroles.  Those are also the months where we want to get outdoors more and start cleaning up the yards and planting and just don't feel like spending as much time in the kitchen.  So, that's my next project - pulling out recipes and going through cookbooks and writing these ideas down so that I can begin to make my list.  

You know, I think that about does it for today.  Thank you SO much for dropping by and visiting - I appreciate it when you do!!!!!!!  God bless your homemaking efforts.  : )