Monday, February 28, 2011

He loves you...

I hope you know God loves you He really loves you!  He is the only person in your life that knows you better than you know yourself and still loves you!  He's the only person in your life who will never be so overwhelmed by his own issues that you will become invisible to Him.  He is there for you 24/7!! 

Today's Funny Story
Recently a guy in Paris nearly got away with stealing several paintings from the Louvre.  However, after planning the crime, breaking in, evading security, getting out and escaping with the goods, he was captured only two blocks away when his Econoline van ran out of gas.

When asked how he could mastermind such a crime and then make such an obvious error, he replied, "I had no Monet to buy Degas to make the Van Gogh."

Hee hee!

Ok, last week I told you that we would be talking about preparedness this month.  Little did I know how important this would become.  We had high winds, up to 70 mph gusts, and wild fires in our area yesterday. Over 85 families lost their homes.  Alot of them had ten minutes to evacuate and escaped with family and pets and very little else.  No one could imagine that so many homes would be lost in grass fires. 

We have several more days of high winds coming and no rain in the forecast, so I plan on being prepared if we have to evacuate.  It will be good practice for tornado season, too.  So, before I go to bed tonight, I will put together "bug out bags".  After reading several websites and gathering information, I will pack two small bags (one for each of us) with a change of clothing, an extra pair of shoes, vitamins, water, some snacks, and our showering and getting ready stuff - all packed in baggies.  Then, I'll pack a book bag with our Bibles, photo albums and essential papers. The bags will sit ready to go on the vanity in our bathroom.  We will also charge our phones tonight, near the bags, and make a list of the things that we would want to grab that are not replaceable, then tape the list to the mirror where I can easily find it.  If a fire starts near us, we will then gather the items on the list and put them in the car along with the bug out bags and book bag. 

Since we have two dogs, I need to put together a little bag for them with leashes, plastic bowls, a baggy of food and some water. 

Obviously, this will take some thought to be sure I'm not forgetting something important, so I will walk around the house and look in the garage to make sure I have the essentials and irreplaceable valuables.  It's a start and definitely better than being unprepared! 


When I was sorting through the paper piles in my craft room last week, I ran across this idea for using upside down crystal as a candle stick.  I tried it in a couple of places. Cute!

Today's Recipe - Don't Tell the Kids it's Healthy Pasta Sauce

I did a little experimenting in the kitchen the other night and came up with this yummy pasta sauce.

1 pound ground grass fed beef
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 tsp garlic powder or 1 T minced garlic
1 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/4 cup sucanat sugar
6.5 oz can sliced mushrooms, drained
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 - 6oz cans tomato paste
28 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 shredded zucchini 
1 cup water

Brown the ground beef with the onion.  Add all the spices and sucanat.  Cook for two more minutes.  Add the mushrooms, vinegar, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, zucchini and water. Stir until everything is combined.  Bring to a boil then turn heat down and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes.  Serve over your favorite pasta.  Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top, if desired.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Keep at it...

People with their minds set on you (God), you keep completely whole, steady on their feet, because they keep at it and don't quit.  Depend on God and keep at it because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.
Isaiah 26:3-4

Isn't it amazing that we have this assurance in God?!  Some versions say, "God will keep you in perfect peace."  Boy, isn't that needed in today's world?!  This applies to what we eat, as well.  Keep at it and rely on God for direction and wisdom. And eat what He has provided for you to eat - fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, eggs and fresh dairy products.  Keep at it and learn to eat intentionally, because it is a thinking re-training process.  If you have kids, get them in on the process and talk about the real food you each ate that day and give God praise for providing it for you.

Next week I will begin blogging about being prepared for disasters - man-made and natural.  Food prices are going up along with gasoline prices. Power brown-outs have become a common occurrence.  You can't buy groceries if the power is down.  What if a storm knocks out power to your town? Do you have enough food and water in the house to survive on for a week or two?  Jesus said that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.  Do you have enough food and water to help out a neighbor who isn't prepared. What can you do to be prepared?  We don't need to be scared - we need to be prepared!  And we need to keep our minds focused on God!!


Speaking of keeping focused on God... I love to study the names of God and what they mean.  In this particular frame, I again used scrapbook paper for a background.  But, this time, I printed out names for the Father, the Son and the Spirit on textured paper.  The next step was to tear them out and ink the edges with a brown stamp pad. Then, I glued each name onto the background paper with a glue stick. Easy art with meaning!

Today's Recipe - Brown Rice Pudding
Wendy McMillan

In a medium saucepan, combine instant brown rice, dried fruit, and a handful of chopped nuts with 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 cup milk.  Simmer over medium heat, stirring regularly until thickened.  Swirl in honey or maple syrup.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Must have...

Remember our definition for food - nutritive material taken into a living organism to sustain life, to promote growth and the repair of tissues, and to give energy for the vital processes.

I think the main point about food is that you want to put things in your mouth that help your body heal itself, the way God designed it, to be able to fight viruses and bacteria and disease, and to provide your body with the nutrients that it needs to function at its best.  With that in mind, Jordan Rubin gives us 45 foods you must have in your kitchen:

15 Must Haves for Your Freezer: sockeye salmon; black cod fish fillets; organic chicken; ground bison meat; ground turkey meat; frozen organic mixed berries; frozen dark cherries; frozen organic veggies (spinach, broccoli, cauliflower); edamame (baby soybeans), whole grain tortillas; whole grain bread; whole grain waffles; flaxseeds; organic ice cream; shredded cheese (cheddar, jack, or mozzarella).

15 Must Haves for Your Fridge: pomegranate or tart cherry juice; organic yogurt with live, active cultures; mixed baby greens, arugula or mache; nut butters (peanut, almond, cashew); precut veggies; basil, rosemary, dill, thyme; lemons and limes; hummus; pesto; avocado; salsa; onions; omega 3 eggs; sprounted bread or tortillas; maple syrup.  

15 Must Haves for Your Pantry:  canned beans (garbanzo, pinto, black, red); organic tomato sauce and canned diced tomatoes; organic short-grain instant brown rice; organic chicken or veggie soup stock; old-fashioned or steel-cut oats; 70% cocoa powder; quinoa;amaranth; hempseed and pumpkin seeds; a variety of unsalted nuts; green and white tea; dried fruits; dried mushrooms; extra virgin olive oil; honey.


I just painted this little bird feeder and liked it better painted black.  It didn't seem to fit anywhere in my craft room and I was ending up with a lot of stuff on the floating shelves.  Let's just say it looked messy, not pretty.  So, I kept moving it. 

Then, when I was going through the pile of magazines I had collected and cutting out the articles and pictures I wanted to keep for inspiration, I got an idea.  Why not use it for something practical?  Perfect!  Now, it holds my paper clips...for today, at least.  Haha!

Today's Recipe - Spicy Pasta w/ Broccoli
Eating Well For Optimum Health
This recipe is quick and easy and SO yummy!

1 large bunch broccoli or large bags frozen broccoli florets
1 pound dried whole grain pasta (twists, penne, or rigatoni)
4 T extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
salt to taste
2 T capers
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat a large pot of water to cook the pasta.  Cut 1/2 inch off the ends of the broccoli stalks and cut the thick stalks away from the tops.  Separate the tops into florets.  Peel away the fibrous outer layer of the broccoli stalks and cut them into bite-size chunks.

Add the pasta to boiling water.  While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a small pan and add the garlic, red pepper, and salt to taste.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring, then remove from heat.

When the pasta is 2 minutes short of being al dente, add the broccoli.  As soon as the broccoli is crunchy-tender, drain the broccoli-pasta mixture in a colander, return it to the pot, and add the oil mixture.

Add the capers, and season with salt to taste.  Serve with the grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.  Makes 6 servings/ 431 calories per serving.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Not really food...

Ok, class - let's review our definition for food.  Oops! Sorry...  Once a teacher, always a teacher.  But, really we to need to remind ourselves what food really is in order for today's post to make sense. 

nutritive material taken into a living organism to sustain life, to promote growth and the repair of tissues, and to give energy for the vital processes.
Zondervan Bible Dictionary

So much of what people consider food now days is merely something that makes you feel simply not hungry and has very little nutritive value. God designed our bodies to eat what He has provided for food. (Go back to Monday's post for that info.) And yet, the modern diet contains little of these fabulous foods. Here's the deal with poor nutrition - illness and disease prevent us from enjoying life and keep us from serving God and others.  Plus, going to the doctor and prescriptions are expensive!

Here's some info from the World Health Organization:

Globally - 1 billion adults overweight/ 300 million obese - Major contributor to the global burden of chronic disease and disability...increased consumption of more energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods with high levels of sugar and saturated fats, combined with reduced physical activity, have led to obesity rates that have risen three-fold or more since 1980.

As incomes rise and populations become more urban, diets high in complex carbohydrates give way to more varied diets with a higher proportion of fats, saturated fats and sugars.  At the same time, large shifts towards less physically demanding work have been observed worldwide.  Moves towards less physical activity are also found in the increasing use of automated transport, technology in the home, and more passive leisure pursuits.

Connie Evers reported on the Diet Channel - This (childhood obesity) "epidemic" has actually been 30 years in the making.  Several things have happened in America since the late 1970s which have contributed to this trend.  The availability and intake of sweetened beverages has greatly increased among children and teens, kids have more disposable income, there is easy access to large portions of food and beverages, families do not prioritize shared meals, the electronic age has promoted sedentary lifestyles, safety issues pose a barrier for many children as far as playing outdoors, mass media bombards us with the message of over-consumption, and the list goes on.

In a nutshell, kids of the 70s, played outdoors more, ate more home-cooked family meals, and were restricted in terms of sweetened beverages and other "treat" foods.

Sadly, we are seeing more adult diseases in children, including Type 2 diabetes, joint problems, and risk factors for coronary heart disease such as high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels.  If the obesity trend continues, some experts predict that the current generation of children may have a lowered life expectancy than their parents.

I remember when young, my brothers and I would be so excited when all three of us got to share one 8 oz. Coke.  And that didn't happen very often!  We ate fresh vegetables grown in our huge garden, that we hoed daily, and meat from our own butchered beef and chickens.  We always had fruit for breakfast along with eggs from our chickens and we enjoyed fresh milk and cream on our cereal from our cows.  When my brothers and I all had kids and would go to Mom and Dad's house we were astounded that they had stocked the frig with soft drinks and everyone could have their own!

So, what's all the fuss about soft drinks?  Consider these stats:

2 per week increases your risk of pancreatic cancer by 87%
1 per day increases your risk of metabolic syndrome (heart disease and diabetes) by 44% and obesity by 60%
2 per day increases your risk of gout by 85%

Yikes!  I know that for me, eating the food God has provided has done amazing things for my health.  But, don't take my word for it.  Do some research on the Internet and find out for yourself.  Or better yet, read the list of ingredients on the "food" you currently have in your house.  You will be astonished to find out how much of it has high fructose corn syrup in it.  Keep a "food" diary for just a week and discover just what you and your family are putting in your mouth that is disguised as "food".  Remember the definition...  just sayin'!

And trust me, I know it isn't easy to change eating habits!  My promise to you is to provide only healthy recipes and tips on this blog from now on.  Here's today's tip:  Some people have trouble drinking water because it makes them feel bloated.  I'm one of those people.  It's important to drink water every day because it helps your body flush out toxins.  So, what do you do if you have trouble drinking water?  Put a squeeze of fresh lemon, lime, or orange in your water, or several slices of fresh cucumber.  For some reason, it helps.  Also, you should not drink cold drinks with your meals.  It keeps your digestive juices from working properly.


My middle daughter has begun a blog that has great ideas for decorating.  In fact, every time I go to her house, I get new ideas to incorporate at my house.  Plus, she has a great sense of humor!  Visit her blog at: 

Here's a picture of another picture frame I had in a closet that was re-purposed with scrapbook paper.  Free decoration!

Today's Recipe - Family Roast Beef
Jordan Rubin

4-5 lb chuck roast, from grass fed beef
1/4 pound butter (not margarine)
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
Celtic sea salt
black pepper, freshly ground

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Rub the roast with salt and pepper and place in a baking dish with 2-inch sides.  In a saucepan, melt the butter and add an equal volume of Worcestershire sauce.  Pour the sauce over the roast.  Bake slowly at 325 degrees until a meat thermometer reads 150-155 degrees (for medium).  Remove the roast from the oven and allow it to rest and redistribute the juices before carving.  The temperature will climb to 180 degrees.  It is particularly important that grass-fed beef be cooked more slowly at a lower temperature than commercial beef.  Grass-fed beef should also be allowed to "coast in" to the desired level of doneness by removing it from the oven several minutes before you think it is done.  This preserves the juiciness and produces meat that is more tender. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A dog named Mace...

Ok, I'm going to start today's post with a funny story that is part of a packet of funny stories and puns I found while sorting through the piles of paper in my craft room.  Unfortunately, I have no idea who wrote it.

A Dog Named Mace

A mechanic who worked out of his home had a dog named Mace.  Mace had a bad habit of eating all the grass on the mechanic's lawn, so the mechanic had to keep Mace inside. The grass eventually became overgrown.  One day the mechanic was working on a car in the backyard and dropped his wrench, losing it in the tall grass.  He couldn't find it for the life of him, so he decided to call it a day.  That night, Mace escaped from the house and ate all the grass in the backyard.  The next morning the mechanic went outside and saw his wrench glinting in the sunlight.  Realizing what had happened he looked toward the heavens and proclaimed, "A grazing Mace, how sweet the hound, that saved a wrench for me!"

Ha ha ha ha!!  I hope you don't mind - I sure love a funny story! 

Back to this week's topic - food:

nutritive material taken into a living organism to sustain life, to promote growth and the repair of tissues, and to give energy for the vital processes.
Zondervan Bible Dictionary

Today, I'm just going to post some of the Bible verses that specifically talk about our mindset towards food.

Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?
1 Corinthians 3:16

Everything is permissible for me but not everything is beneficial.  Everything is permissible for me but I will not be mastered by anything.  Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will destroy them both.
1 Corinthians 6:12-13

For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.  Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame.  Their mind is on earthly things.
Philippians 3:18-19

Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor and drowsiness clothes them in rags. 
Proverbs 23:20-21

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31

Tomorrow, I will talk about some of the effects of poor nutrition.


Being creative with what you already have is not only fun, it is also easy on the budget!  I found this photo frame when I was cleaning out a closet and decided to use it in my craft room.  But, I didn't have any photos.  Hmm...what to do?  Ah, ha!  The decorators on HGTV put scrapbook paper, fabric and wallpaper samples in frames all the time.  So, that's what I did.  I found some pink and black scrapbook paper and put that paper in the two end frames.  Then I used one of the tiebacks (they came with the curtains but I opted not to use them) and cut a piece to fit the middle frame.  Free art!!

I went through my cupboards and closets and found this silver bucket for all my scissors and the rosebud vases for my paint brushes and colored pencils.  Again, free!

Today's Recipe - Easy Creamy Tomato Soup
Taste of Home

1 - 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 T. butter
1/8 - 1/4 tsp onion powder
dash pepper
2 cups milk (you can substitute rice or almond milk)

In a saucepan, combine the first four ingredients.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Gradually stir in milk; cook and stir until heated through (do not boil).  Yield: 2 servings 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Something's going on...

Wow! Did you hear about the 6.3 earthquake that hit New Zealand late this afternoon?  Libya is falling apart and many countries in the Middle East are experiencing political upheaval. Something's definitely going on!  The Bible talks about things getting worse and occurring closer together - like birth pains.  Hmm...
We will be looking at what the Bible says about all this next month.

This week, we are going to look at food - what the Bible says about it and what some experts say about nutrition.  We need to start with a definition of food from the Zondervan Bible Dictionary:

...nutritive material taken into a living organism to sustain life, to promote growth and the repair of tissues, and to give energy for the vital processes.

Let's look at the Biblical history of food.  Genesis 1:29 says, Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.  They will be yours for food.  So, Adam and Eve ate fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts and grasses.  And they ate them raw.  People didn't eat meat until after the flood when God told Noah in Genesis 9:3-4, Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.  But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.  

Then, Leviticus records God making a distinction between clean and unclean food for His chosen people, the Israelites.  These food laws were for the purpose of setting this people apart from other people.  Scholars also believe God had sanitary reasons for some of the food laws. The second chapter of Daniel tells the story of four young captive Jewish boys who followed the dietary laws of their home country even though they were offered the best food of Babylon.

In Acts 10:1-35 we read the account of a vision God gave Peter in which he saw a sheet come down from heaven filled with all kinds of animals.  He was hungry and God told him to kill something and eat.  Peter balked saying that he had never eaten anything unclean.  God told him, Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.

Now, I don't know if that was God giving Peter permission to eat unclean animals or not.  What I do know is that right after he had that vision, some Gentiles came to the house where he was staying to get Peter to go to speak to Cornelius the centurion.  Peter went and said to the crowd that was gathered there, You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him.  But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean.  So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection.  So, did the vision have anything to do with food?  I don't know, but God definitely used food to speak to Peter.  Interesting...


I was at JoAnne Fabics today scoping out some material for valances when I saw that grommets are on sale. (They are having a really good sale this week).  So, I bought two packages of grommets for $16.86 to put in my guest room curtains - one package for each panel.  They are difficult to open and close and grommets would solve that problem.  So, I thought I would show you just how simple it is to put grommets in ready made curtains. 

Step One - I took the curtains off the rod and ironed the wrinkles out of the rod pocket so I had a flat surface.  Then I took the grommets out of the package. (There are eight with ridges on the back and eight with teeth on the back).  I positioned them on the top part of the curtain panel and used a sewing ruler to get them spaced evenly apart and the same distance from the top of the curtain panel.  (The end grommets are one inch from the edge of the panel). 

Step Two -  I used the plastic stencil that comes with the grommets to draw circles where each grommet would go.  Because of the fabric, I had to use a sharpie so I could see the circle.  It's a good idea to place a pin in between each circle to keep the fabric from shifting. 

Step Three - I used small sharp scissors to cut each hole.  It's very important to cut a hole, then put each grommet in before you cut another hole.  To put the grommet in, place the side with the ridges underneath the hole in the curtain panel. Using your finger, make sure the fabric around the hole is under the lip of the grommet.  Then place the side with the teeth on top of the hole.  Pushing down on the grommet with the palm of your hand, apply pressure until you hear the grommet snap.  If it is done right, there will be no gap where the two sides of the grommet come together in the middle of the hole.  If there is a gap, use a small flat-head screwdriver to carefully pry it apart and try again. 

Repeat until you have all eight grommets in place. Remove the straight pins.

Step Four - The second curtain panel is even easier because you will just place the panel with the grommets over the panel without the grommets.  Using the sharpie, mark the center of each grommet hole.  Remove the panel with the grommets.  Using the sewing ruler and the stencil, draw the circles, making sure each center is the same distance from the top of the panel.

Cut the circles, apply the grommets, then remove the pins. 

Step Five - Hang the curtains back on the rod, making sure that the edges of each panel are back towards the window.  Make even neat folds and secure them at the bottom of each panel with clothes pins and then in several places up the front.  I will leave the clothes pins on for several days so the curtains will look neat and tidy.  They are a little short, so I may let the hem down a bit after the folds are set.

They look so much better and are easier to open and close.  By the way, I got these room darkening curtains for $10 on clearance at Walmart.  What a deal!

Today's Recipe - Hobo Potatoes
Nicki Rubin

6-8 medium potatoes
1 large onion
1 stick butter
salt and pepper or Herbamare

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the potatoes and onion thinly using a food processor or a mandolin.  Layer the potatoes and onion slices in a sprayed casserole.  Melt the butter then stir the salt and pepper or Herbamare into the butter.  Pour the butter mixture over the potatoes and onions.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Serve 6.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Feeling insecure...

There are so many things that can make us feel insecure.  Are you feeling insecure today?  Read this quote from Beth Moore:

...although we may have something unhealthy deep inside of us, those in whom Christ dwells also have something deeper.  Something whole.  Something so infinitely healthy that, if it would but invade the rest of us, we would be healed.

Jesus is not unhealthy. Not codependent with us.  His strength is made perfect in our weakness.  This thought never grows old to me:  He has no dark side.  In Him is no darkness at all.

That, beloved, is our challenge.  To let the healthy, utterly whole, and completely secure part of us increasingly overtake our earthen vessels until it drives our every emotion, reaction, and relationship.  When we allow God's truth to eclipse every false positive and let our eyes spring open to the treasure we have, there in His glorious reflection, we'll also see the treasure we are.  And the beauty of the Lord our God will be upon us.

Amazing love!


I've had this little metal bird bath for a while.  I wanted it in my craft room, but it didn't seem to fit.

So...while I had the black paint out yesterday painting the lamp base, I decided to paint the birdbath, as well.

The faux eggs actually look better in the newly painted birdbath! 

Today's Recipe - Cheese-Stuffed Chicken
Better Homes And Gardens New Cook Book

4 medium chicken breast halves (2-2 1/2 lbs total)
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (3 oz)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
2 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained and crumbled, or 1/4 cup cooked bacon pieces
salt and ground black pepper
bottled ranch salad dressing (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Skin chicken, if desired.  Using a sharp knife, make a pocket in each breast by cutting horizontally from side to side, leaving edges intact.  In a bowl combine mozzarella cheese, feta cheese, peanuts, and bacon.  Spoon filling into pockets, packing lightly (pockets will be full).  Place chicken, bone side down, in a 3-quart rectangular baking dish.  Lightly sprinkle chicken breasts with salt, pepper and paprika.
Bake uncovered, for 50-55 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the chicken registers 170 degrees.  Drizzle salad dressing over chicken before serving.  Makes 4 servings.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hope realized...

There are many young women in my life; my daughters included.  We talk a lot about the hope that is found in Christ for life's trials.  I have witnessed lives changed by the realization of that hope, even while going through tremendous difficulty.  Seeing the joy born of that hope on their faces is priceless and I enjoy being on the front row watching God work.

One of these young women recently saw her hope realized.  God had been taking her through an extremely difficult situation and we spent a lot of time talking on the phone and texting.  She just wanted out of the situation, but I continued to remind her that God had purpose in what she was going through and, in His timing, He would provide encouragement and direction for her.

About a month ago, I got an excited call from her as she proclaimed that only God could have come up with the answer He had given her.  Her life has now taken a dramatic turn and God has provided a time of healing for her.

Yesterday, I enjoyed lunch with one of my young friends.  She has so many questions!  And yet, she is hopeful because of what she sees God doing.

This afternoon, I talked to another of these young women.  Her hope is diminished right now because of waiting - waiting for what God has for her, waiting for her dreams to take shape, waiting for friends.  I encouraged her to hold on to the hope that has been realized time and again in her life.  God is working in her life and we are praying that she will soon see the reality of that hope.

We have a God who is infinitely good and who knows what He is doing.  He will come and deliver you from your present trouble in His perfect time and when you least expect it.  Hope in Him more than ever.  Thank Him for the strength and patience He is giving you, even in the midst of this trial, for it is an evident mark of His concern for you.  Encourage yourself with His love and thank Him for everything.
Brother Lawrence


I found the perfect pink lamp at Target that matches the pink chair in my craft room. The lamp shade has great crushed silk texture.

I also purchased a small drum shade for the small accent lamp on the dresser and applied some black paint to the lamp base with a sponge brush. I let some of the gold show through to coordinate the lamp with the gold and black curtain rods. It definitely goes better in the room, now.  Since everything was black and white on the dresser, I pulled a few items off the floating shelves for some pink accents.  I'm going to put a favorite quote or a photo in the frame...eventually!

Forgot to take a before picture - here's a picture of part of the base that was still gold.

The finished base -

The finished dresser top decor -

Today's Recipe - Cup O' Cobbler
Susan Spungen from Martha Stewart Living
 This is an easy, yet delicious dessert.

 4-5 cups sliced fresh peaches (You can use canned peaches and skip tossing the peaches with the sugar.)
1 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour 
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 cup milk
whipped cream, for serving

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine sliced peaches and 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl.  Toss to coat peaches evenly with sugar.  Set aside until sugar melts and peaches begin to extract their juice, about 10 minutes.
Line two baking pans with parchment paper.  Place eight 8-ounce baking dishes on prepared baking pans.  Place 1 tablespoon butter in the bottom of each baking dish.  Transfer to oven until butter is melted and bubbling, 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together remaining 3/4 cup sugar, flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt.  Add milk slowly, whisking until completely combined.  Divide batter evenly among hot baking dishes.  Spoon an equal amount of peaches with their juice into the center of each baking dish, keeping an outer edge of batter.  Return to oven, and bake until tops are golden brown, about 1 hour.  Serve with whipped cream.

Note:  You can melt the butter in a 2 quart casserole dish, pour all the batter in the casserole and add the peaches instead of using the individual baking dishes.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I miss my girls...

I did pretty well until the plane took off and I watched the city where my youngest daughter lives grow smaller as the airplane flew higher.  Then, suddenly, I couldn't see it any more because we were above the clouds.  Even though I knew I would see her in about seven weeks, I felt overwhelmed with sadness that I would no longer enjoy her laughter, fast talking and great hugs every day.  I couldn't keep my eyes dry even though I blinked to keep the tears from falling.  It was an intense five minute conversation with God...

I am doing so much better than I used to when I left my kids/grandkids.  (Big sigh...) It used to take me up to four hours to pull myself together.  And sometimes I would be a little bit cranky for a day or two. I guess it's better than denying how I feel, but I sure don't want my feelings to take over my heart and mind.  Nope!  God has things He wants me to be doing and I'd better be about doing them!  So, I admit to Him how much I love and miss my kids and grandkids and thank Him for the blessing that they are to me and the people around them.  Then I thank God for texting, face time and oovoo! 

Side Note:  Have you read Joel Rosenberg's weblog yet?  It's especially interesting reading in light of what's been going on in the Middle East.  And there are some videos, too!

We have a glass back door that allows in a little too much light when someone is trying to watch TV or take a nap on the couch.  Soon after we moved here, I put a sheer curtain on the door but it didn't block much light or provide any privacy.  After looking for quite awhile for something that would be functional and inexpensive I got an idea while watching HGTV.  I purchased some home decorating fabric (thicker) on sale at JoAnn's, cut it to fit the length of the window with allowance for a rod pocket at the top and an overlap of 1/2 inch at the bottom of the window.  I simply folded the fabric in half, right sides together, and sewed the bottom and side closed.  Turning the right sides out, I ironed the curtain flat then ironed the top edges over 1/4 inch, then 1 inch and pinned it, sewed the bottom of the rod pocket, then ironed the top edge of the rod pocket.  I took two pieces of two inch wide grosgrain ribbon, sewed a piece of velcro to each end, folded them in half then hand stitched them at the top of the rod pocket - leaving half of each ribbon draped over the front with the other half draped over the back of the drape.  (Actually, the front of the ribbon is longer because I wanted the velcro ends to be connected on the back side of the curtain when rolled up.) When we want to see out the door, I simply roll up the curtain and secure it with the velcro ends on the ribbons.  If we want privacy or less light, I unhook the velcro ends on the ribbons and let the drape down to cover the window. 

Today's Recipe - Cinnamon Coffee
Taste of Texas Restaurant

Pour 10 cups of water into coffee machine.  Put 4 whole cinnamon sticks and 3 heaping teaspoons of brown sugar into the glass coffee pot.  Put 1 cup ground coffee and 1 teaspoon cinnamon into the brew basket.  Brew and stir it well.  (The longer it sits, the better it gets!)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I'm sorry...

I really thought I would be able to write each day this week - not sure what I was thinking!  On Monday I got on a plane and flew to help my youngest daughter pack up her house and finish up her last week as a youth associate.  She's always busy...surely I would have time to write.

First distraction - she had my grandson for the weekend.  I just had to play with him! There went Monday...

Then we met my oldest daughter, half way, to return her son and celebrate her birthday with lunch and some shopping.  We got back into town in time to go to Beth Moore's Bible study.  Not just a Beth Moore Bible study - but the Bible study that Beth Moore person.  It was awesome!!!  God confirmed some things He has been working on in my mind lately - you know, that whole "do not be conformed but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" thing.  I can't wait to get back home and spread my study resource books out on the tables in my craft room.  I may have to start calling that room my study!  (That is my favorite thing to do, after all!) 

Second distraction - we will be in the car alot and then packing or sleeping when we are at her house.  Yeah...all that to say that I will not be posting until a week from today.  And there will be no pictures today - but here are some ideas for menu planning and an idea to show some love to your family/spouse.

Menu Planning

Meal planning saves time and money.  You don't buy things that you will not use and will end up throwing away.  Plus, it's healthier because you will be eating less fast food, which is expensive and SO bad for you!!  It also helps because you don't have to come up with something for dinner on your way home from work, when you have low blood sugar and it's hard to think of something...  

This list is from Squidoo - Monthly Meal Planning by Kristen ph

1.  Make a list of all the meals your family already likes.
2.  Divide your list into categories - Mexican, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Soups, Vegetarian, etc.
3.  Make a collection of recipes you want to try - check out
4.  Schedule your meals on a calendar that you post in your kitchen.

Here is a list that I have used over the years that has worked for me when planning a menu.  Of course, you need to take ideas from other people and tweak them so they are useful for you and your family.

1.  Make a copy of each recipe you use on 8 1/2 x 11 pieces of paper.  Three-hole punch them and keep them in a notebook organized with tabs.

2.  On each recipe write a grocery list for that recipe so you will only have to read through the recipe once to figure out the groceries you will need to make that recipe.  Put a star by each item on the list that can be pre-cooked or marinated and frozen.

3.  Put all the recipes you will need for each meal together on one sheet or stapled together and put in the notebook behind the appropriate tab.

4.  Make your grocery list from the grocery lists on the recipes, making sure to put a star by each item that can be pre-cooked or marinated.  You will use your grocery list to sort your grocery items and then pre-cook, marinate and freeze when you get home from the store.

5.  Eat a snack and go buy your groceries.

6.  Pre-cook or marinate the starred items on your grocery list, put in labeled containers and store in the freezer.

7.  Clean and cut up all the vegetables (it really doesn't take long and will save you a lot of time later), putting them into labeled containers so you will know which meal they go with.  Use the recipes for the vegetables which will go bad first.

8.  Pre-measure and assemble rice dishes and quick breads, except for liquids which will be added when cooking or baking - put a label on the container listing the liquids needed to complete the dish or bread, cooking temperature and time along with which recipe they go with.

9.  Each night a) decide which meal you will be cooking for dinner the next day; set out the recipes and gather any pre-cooked or pre-assembled items.  Let frozen items defrost in the refrigerator over night and the next day so you can put it in the crockpot in the morning or so they will be ready to cook for dinner, b) gather items that will be needed for breakfast and c) gather items that will be needed for lunches and make as many lunch items as you can make the night before.  It will save time the next morning to grab the prepared food and put it in lunch boxes/bags.

10.  Involve as many family members as is possible in the whole process.  Get your kids involved as you all learn how to shop for bargains while buying groceries and how to prepare food.  Make a game of it so you have a fun time as a family.  You will be teaching your children valuable life skills!

Showing the Love

February is the month of love!  A simple way to show some love to your family/ spouse is to use dry erase markers to write one thing that you love about each person on the mirror in their bathroom.  Change it every week.  It cleans off easily with a paper towel.  

Enjoy your week - I'll be back next Wednesday!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Rumors of war...

Really?  Are we going to talk about war in the kitchen?!  It seems like it's not a domestic topic, but when it comes to the safety and health of our family and friends, rumors of war become a kitchen discussion topic!

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed.  Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of birth pains.
Matthew 24:6-8

What we all need to understand is that our world is changing rapidly.  Things are not going to go back to the way they were, as much as we would like them to.  In fact, things are going to continue to escalate, just as labor pains get harder and closer together before the birth of a baby. 

Jesus told his followers in Matthew 24 that they needed to see to it that they would not become alarmed by changes in the world.  Now, if He said that, there is obviously a reason we should not be alarmed.  He gave us things to watch for so we would know what is happening in the world.  We can also know that just as a precious baby is born after labor pains, we have something wonderful to look forward to, as well - a face to face relationship with Jesus. 

So, if you are like me, you probably want to know what to do.  We need to be aware of what's going on.  The Bible gives very specific details about what to expect.  Study the passages about the end times then be prepared to be able to take care of your family.  I will be starting a new section on my blog on tips for preparedness. 

I mentioned Joel Rosenberg's weblog yesterday.  Read it!  He has been on CBN and Fox News, among other TV appearances and will be on Glenn Beck's show today.  Glenn Beck's website is a good source of information, too.  I know, I know...he can be a bit dramatic, but he does provide a lot of good information and has put together a show titled Rumors of War.

Be informed, be prepared!  We need to take care of our families and each other.


This was a fun little project that I did while my daughter was here.  I wanted a large initial to stand on one of the new floating shelves that my honey built for my craft room.  This paper mache letter was purchased at JoAnne Fabric along with some pretty scrapbook paper, flower embellishments and jewels.  It looks cute with the pink initial I got on sale at Hobby Lobby.

Today's Recipe - Super Bowl Queso
My husband brought this recipe home from work and it has become the appetizer of his choice for watching the Super Bowl.

1 pound Mexican Velveta
1 pound regular Velveta
7 oz can chopped green chiles
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can evaporated milk

Mix all ingredients in a crockpot.  Cook on high for 1 hour, then turn to low and cook until cheese is melted. Serve with tortilla chips.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Well, my granddaughter has gone home.  It is entirely too quiet around here!  She is a hoot - Miss Drama Queen - and kept us entertained all weekend.   She also gives the best hugs and has a tender heart.  I am so thankful for Face Time and Oovoo.

Wow!  Do you ever wonder what is going on in the Middle East?  It seems like a different country joins in the fray every day.  And what about all the super storms, earthquakes, and volcanoes? Hmmm...

A really good place to find out some answers is Joel Rosenberg's weblog.  He has an understanding of Islam and the politics of the Middle East and what it all has to do with Israel.  There are links to major newspaper articles from that region, as well.  Interesting reading!


Phase two of the craft room project has been completed with another table, table skirts and floating shelves put up.  I got to work on some crafts with one of my daughters - fun! - and my granddaughter enjoyed a movie while sitting in the fabulous pink chair.  I found a six foot table at Walmart for $40 that folds in half.  So, that completed the work surface.  (It is wonderful for Bible study as there is plenty of room to lay out resource materials.)  I was going to buy fabric to make table skirts, but decided to get a white plastic table skirt instead, cutting it in half so the tables can be separated easily.  And if it gets stained or torn it will be cheap to replace.  It came with peel and stick tape already on the skirt so it was a breeze to attach to the tables.  I did tear off the two inch ruffle at the top of the skirt to get a cleaner look.  I love the shelves and will be doing some more decorating there as I get ideas.  Fun!

Tomorrow, I will show you a couple of the craft projects we worked on to decorate the shelves...

Today's Recipe - Beef with Macaroni
(This is a combination of several similar recipes)

1 pound grass-fed beef or buffalo
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup diced carrot
1 medium onion, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 cup BBQ sauce
2 cups water
2 cups elbow macaroni
 1 cup slivered spinach leaves
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Brown the meat in a large skillet.  Add the onion, pepper, and carrot, cooking until vegetables are tender.  Add the zucchini, BBQ sauce, water and macaroni.  Cover the skillet and simmer for approximately 8 minutes or until the macaroni is cooked.  Add the spinach and stir.  Pour into a serving bowl and top with the Parmesan cheese.